Wise Words | Collecting Moments

We're off to collect some moments with family in Texas, and probably collect a few extra pounds eating nothing but barbeque and Tex-Mex for a few days, too.  Oh, but it's worth it.  It's soooooo worth it . . .

Don't forget to collect a few moments of your own today. :)




Sneak Peeks | In San Francisco and Carmel

Over the weekend, I shot two lovely engagement sessions at some pretty awesome locations.  Between the two, we discovered new areas of Golden Gate Park, explored Hyde Street Pier, played with shadows at the Carmel Mission, and meandered along a hidden coastal trail after a tip off from a friendly Australian on roller blades.  I can't wait to show you the full sessions but, in the mean time, here are a few sneak peeks for your viewing pleasure.

All the lines in this little photo make my heart happy.  As does the couple in love. ♥

The golden hour at its finest.

PS - This is my 700th post y'all.  Whoop whoop!




Molly Demanded Screen Time

Happy Monday lovelies!  I hope you all had wonderful a weekend.  Ours was mostly filled with work but we took some time Saturday afternoon to relax and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather.  We're heading to Texas later this week to visit with family and indulge in some Fiesta celebrations.

The Fancy Fiance has never been to Fiesta and I've never been as an over-21-year old so it should be a good time.  I had to warn him about cascarones, though.  Have you guys ever heard of cascarones?  They're basically brightly colored confetti-filled eggs that you break over someone's head to shower them in colorful, festive confetti.  They're hugely popular in San Antonio around Easter/Fiesta but I've never seen them outside of Texas.  We used to make them all the time when I was little using the comics section from the Sunday newspaper and a little hole puncher to make the confetti.  I will absolutely be breaking a few over the Fiance's head later this week. :)

Anyway - on to the main point of this post . . . Molly!  The little diva was getting frustrated with her lack of blog time lately so she begged for a cameo this week.  Actually, knowing that we're about to abandon her for a few days* made my fur mama guilt flare up in a major way so I took full advantage of play time with her over the weekend.  I also indulged her begging and gave her some of her favorite treats - basil and parsley - then took pictures of her eating said treats, and if that doesn't qualify me for crazy guinea pig lady status then I don't know what does.  Those kooky cat ladies got nothing on me.


One thing I love about these photos (besides her cute little piggy face) is that you can actually see the true color of Molly's fur.  She has this gorgeous grayish brown coat that usually photographs super dark gray but not this time.  This time, we found the perfect light.


How was your weekend?

*Don't worry, she has a piggy sitter to watch over her while we're gone.




Web Love | Worry About Yourself

Trying something new for Saturdays.  Maybe not every Saturday but once in a while I'd like to share with you the random funny / inspirational / enlightening / interesting / entertaining things I find whilst surfing them interwebs.  So here you go - my first installment of Web Love.

* * * * * * * *

First and foremost, Jon Stewart's words for Boston were brief but heartfelt and true.  The biggest takeaway from this horrific tragedy is the strength and endurance of the human spirit and good that still exists in humanity.  Horrible things will continue to happen and there's not much we can do to stop them, but as long as the good continues to outweigh the evil, we'll be alright.

I can just hear this girl's mother telling her to worry about yourself in the midst of a little spat with her siblings.  (I definitely used that phrase on many occasions as a nanny. . .)  And as firm as she is in her commands, she still manages to be polite.  I'm impressed, little lady.

I know this Dove commercial has been making the rounds but it really is eye opening.  The main thing I took away from it?  We need to be kinder to ourselves, ladies.

We've all heard the old saying about what happens when you "assume" things, but here are a few assumptions you should be making right now.

And, finally, have you seen this Disney spoof about what happens after the fairy tale ends?  I know it's a month old, which in Internet time is more like a century, but check it out if you haven't yet.  The guys talent might immediately deflate whatever confidence you have but at least it's entertaining.

Happy Saturday!




Fridays Fancies | Hello, Neon

Happy Friday my fabulous friends!  (How about a little alliteration to start your Friday?)  This week's Friday's Fancies is all about neon and, I have to admit, I wasn't too excited about it at first.  When I think of neon clothing, I have horrid flashbacks to the fashion of the late 80s / early 90s.  I may have only been in elementary school at the time but, trust me, no one was immune to those highlighter hued outfits.

Then I started browsing Pinterest (obvi) and discovered a whole new world of modern and chic neons.  I had no idea such a thing existed.  Finally, I found a neon I could work with.  So then I started doing a bit of (internet) window shopping and found some neon pieces I could actually see myself wearing, like this neon skirt from J Crew.  On its own, it's way too bright and kind of reminds me of my case books from law school.  But . . . I kinda love it paired with a chambray top and preppy accessories.  The earthy neutrals and casual top transform it into a neon piece I could actually see myself wearing.  Now if only my wallet would let me go shopping. . . .

1. Neon Skirt
2. Chambray Top
3. Watch
4. Tote
5. Loafers

Have you jumped on the neon trend yet?

Happy weekend!!!




When I Grow Up

Technically, I'm adult.  I mean, let's be real - I'm over 30.  In fact, yesterday I was filling out a survey for some random thing or another and when it got to the age section, I had to check the 31-40 box.  Long gone are the days of the 21-30 box.

But there are still 10 million things, give or take a few, that I still want to have or do when I grow up.  So I'm linking up with Whitney and telling the world about it.  Or at least a few hundred people in the world.  Close enough.

Here's what life will look like when I grow up.  One thing I know for sure, I'll have a kitchen that's actually pulled together and photo-worthy.

We won't have chipped plates or mismatched flatware when I grow up.  No sir-ree bob.  When I grow up, I'll have dishes so lovely they could be props in a food magazine.

And some of the food I'd serve on those dishes would come from my home garden, because real grown ups have green thumbs.  The eggs will come from the chicken coop in my backyard naturally.  (Yes, one of my grown-up fantasies is housing chickens in my backyard. . . .)

Of course, I wouldn't spend all my time in the kitchen.  When I grow up, I'm going to be a world traveler.  Places like Paris, Santorini, Spain, and Portugal would be just an average "weekend away" destination.

When I need to rest up from my adventurous ways, I'll have a grown up bedroom with a real headboard and coordinated linens!  Yippee!

Oops, that was my vacation home bedroom.  Silly me.  Here's what my real, boring, everyday bedroom will look like when I grow up.

When I grow up, I'll also have a plastic surgeon personal trainer to help achieve that hot bod look I've always dreamed of but am never motivated enough to get on my own.  Then I can wear outfits like these on the daily, as opposed to my current wardrobe of yoga pants and t-shirts/sweaters.

Oh, and let's not forget, when I grow up, I'll have a few hipster children.  Because, let's be honest here, the best thing about hipster culture is the children's fashion.


Anything you want when you grow up?




Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Once upon a time, in April of 1994 to be exact, my cousin had a baby.  A little baby girl with squishy cheeks and a full head of hair.  She named her Elizabeth Evangeline.

My cousin let me hold her new baby girl when the sweet thing was just a few hours old.  Not sure what to make of our new family member and totally freaked out that I'd break her little head, it's the first time I remember holding a baby so small and fragile.  And being the bratty 12-year old that I was, I was totally skeptical about the whole thing.

The little bundle of baby started to grow on me, with her big brown eyes and innocent gaze, and I began babysitting Elizabeth when she was just three months old.  If a pre-teen and an infant can be besties, we were it.  I changed her diapers, warmed her bottles, swayed her and sang to her as she fell asleep.  My heart began to love her like a sister as the sweet little baby grew into a fiesty young girl.

Eventually, my cousin and her family moved to Hawaii, with an ocean and half a continent separating them from the rest of our family.  Just one of the many sacrifices military families have to make for their country.  My sister and I spent the summer of 1997 with them on the island of Oahu, eating freeze-pops, hanging out on the beach, and most importantly of all, taking blurry photos with my teeny-tiny super tan bestie.

The military continued to send them around the world and I eventually moved away, too.  We grew apart both in distance and familiarity but my teeny-tiny bestie, who evolved from a cute little baby to a pretty little girl and now an independent young woman, always held a special place in my heart.  And today, that cute little baby / pretty little girl turns 19 and can't really be called "little" any longer.  She's all grown up now, entering her last year as a teenager and navigating her way into young adulthood with grace and confidence.

I'm so proud of you, Elizabeth, and can't wait to see you next week.  Happy birthday beautiful girl.

One of Elizabeth's senior photos, shot by yours truly. :)



Last Week, I Met Some Lovely Bloggers

We had a little SF blogger meet up last Thursday at Pause Wine Bar and I have to say, it was quite a nice time.  Serena and I initially thought it'd be a small event with maybe 5 or 6 bloggers but we had nearly 20 lovely ladies turn out for some wine and conversation!  I was a little nervous going into it but I ended up having such a great time getting to know fellow bay area bloggers that I slacked a little bit on the picture taking.  I'd approach people intending to just get a photo and would end up chatting away the evening instead!  I think that's a sign of a successful event.  We're even talking about planning another in a few months so if those talks ever become reality, I'll be sure to let you know. :)

"san francisco blogger meet up"
"san francisco blogger meet up"
"san francisco blogger meet up"
"san francisco blogger meet up"
"san francisco blogger meet up"
"san francisco blogger meet up"

The ladies in attendance: 

Serena - Spillerena 
Mo - New on U 
Heather - Fiery and Opinionated 
Sarah - A Girl in Transit 
Tina - east-love-west 
Alison - Hello Lately! 
Meredith - Not Merely Living 
Kay - blissful2be 
Kathleen - Kathleen Emma 
Jeni - une gamine
Camille - Planning Pretty 
and Me





Sneak Peek | Leidilyn + Edward

Remember Leidilyn & Edward's sunset engagement session from last month?  Well, the two are no longer engaged . . . they're married!!  Last Friday, Leidilyn & Edward pledge their lifelong commitment & love to each other in front of their friends and family.  The wedding was filled with beautiful DIY touches, ear-to-ear smiles, and tears of joy.  I can't wait to share the rest of it with you soon but, in the mean time, here's a little sneak peak.  (By the way, Leidilyn's mom made her dress!  Isn't it beautiful?)

"Blackhawk Automobile Museum wedding photography"





The Eyes Have It | DIY Face + Eye Serum

Yeah I could make prettier labels but I'm not exactly 'crafty' like that.  Metallic sharpies will have to do.

Since turning 30ish, I've been searching for an anti-aging skin regime that doesn't cause my skin to freak out.  I have fairly sensitive skin and the slightest change in my routine really makes it angry.  A few years ago, I tested out some very expensive products that are supposed to be great for your skin and, after about 4 days, I looked like I fell asleep in a tanning booth.  My skin was red raw, tender to touch, and just straight up p!ssed at me for changing up the routine. 

Even sticking to a brand I know works for my skin hasn't proven successful.  Normally I use Aveeno products for face wash, eye cream, and daily moisturizer/SPF.  I thought an Aveeno night cream for anti-aging would be fine, right?  Wrong.  So, so wrong.  Within three days of using it, my skin broke out everywhere - chin/jaw line, forehead, cheek area, basically my whole face.  So naturally I'm a bit hesitant to try something new.

All that experimenting with no success was all fine and good in my 20s but I'm not in that lovely decade anymore.  I'm older, wiser, more mature.  Okay, maybe just older.  Whatevs.  I still need some anti-aging business over here.  I have learned quickly that finding the best anti-aging serum for you isn’t the easiest of tasks.  So when I read Bonnie's post about her homemade, all-natural skin serum, I was intrigued.  Could this be the answer I've been searching for?  Is it too good to be true?  There's only one way to find out - test it for myself.

At the time, I was using Aveeno's anti-aging eye cream.  It's fine.  I didn't notice too much of an improvement in the fine lines that are already there, but I definitely did not get more lines and wrinkles while using it so I assumed it was doing its job at prevention.  Plus, it's not crazy expensive but at $20 for a bottle that lasts about 6 weeks, the costs can add up over the year.  I was using absolutely nothing on the rest of my face.  I know . . . how shameful.

So I checked out the link Bonnie listed and quickly became lost in the site.  After reading up on all the different carrier oils and essential oils, I came up with a recipe that would fit all my needs - minimize the fine lines and wrinkles, encourage collage production for that youthful plump look, balance out the oily/dry combination of my skin, and even out the overall tone of my skin.  I came up with a recipe for an eye serum and separate skin serum, then perused Amazon for the best deals I could find.  I was able to get all the necessary ingredients to make enough serum for over a year, plus two little glass bottles for storing my magical fountains of youth, for under $70.  That's equal to about 3 months' worth of the stuff I was using just on my eyes alone!

I know what you're wondering now.  Was it worth it?  Well -

After Day 1:  My skin was much less oily than usual when I woke up the next morning and it felt very soft.  I'm surprised there could be a difference already but the skin under my eyes did look healthier and smoother.

After Day 4:  The skin under my eyes is noticeably . . . plumper?  That's the only word I can think of to describe it.  The fine lines are starting to smooth out already and they're not nearly as deep as they used to be when I smile or crinkle my eyes.  Much better results than with the store-bought eye cream.

After Week 1:  I can definitely tell a difference in the skin under/around my eyes, much more so than I ever noticed with my previous eye cream.  Even the dark circles seem to be a bit lighter (though I doubt they'll ever go away completely).  My skin overall is less oily in the morning and stays that way throughout the day.  I haven't noticed any shiny spots or oil build-up on my forehead or nose/chin area, which used to always be an issue for me (I usually carry oil absorbing sheets with me everywhere but haven't used them at all in the last week!)  I'm hoping that, with continued use, I'll start to see a reduction in pore size, too.

So what's in this magic, you ask?  Here are my recipes for face and eyes:

Face (makes 4 oz):
- 10 tsp. Jojoba Oil
- 2 tsp. Apricot Kernel Oil
- 30 drops Lavender Oil

Eyes (makes 4 oz):
- 5 tsp. Apricot Kernel Oil
- 4 tsp. Grape Seed Oil
- 1 1/4 tsp. Avocado Oil
- 1 1/4 tsp. Wheat Germ Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Cranberry Seed Oil

Combine the ingredients for each serum in a dark glass bottle with a dropper top then shake or roll bottle between your palms to mix well.  (Use a separate bottle for each serum.)  I let mine sit for 24 hours before using to make sure everything was fully combined.  You only need a few drops each night so a little goes a long way.  The best part is, it's all completely natural (and organic, if you order the right oils) so there are no fillers or preservatives to irritate your skin!

Would you ever try homemade beauty products?

Update:  I've had a few questions about how this fits into my overall routine so I thought I'd answer that by posting it here.  I basically use the serums in place of moisturizer.  Here's what my nightly routine looks like:

1. wash with Aveeno facewash

2. organic rosewater toner all over face and neck (found it at Target, all natural and organic)

3. eye serum around eyes (underneath and on eye lids - the cranberry seed is a toner that helps firm the skin so you don't get droopy old lady lids)

4. skin serum on the rest of my face and neck (and occassionally on the back of my hands since they show age too)

The only thing I've changed is adding the serums in place of moisturizer.  That's it!

Update No. 2: So it's now been six months since I started using the homemade serums.  The verdict?  I freaking love them.  I haven't even thought about looking into other products since I started using these serums.  My skin is all nice and even now without any oily patches or that horrid Shiny Strip Down The Nose Syndrome that appears in basically every picture of me pre-April 2013.  I haven't had any breakouts since using the serums either, which is awesome.  I've also noticed the lines around my eyes are much smoother and finer.  I don't even notice them when I look in the mirror, and they used to be one of the things I was most self-conscious about!  Basically, I feel like my skin just looks overall healthier, plumper, and more youthful and I have no intention of changing up my products at this point.

If you're having trouble finding the products,  you can get many of them here.  For the specific products I used, here are the links to Amazon.  They are not affiliate links and I will not make any money from you using them.  This is purely to help you find your own oils for a homemade serum. :)

Apricot Kernel Oil
Avocado Oil
Cranberry Seed Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Jojoba Oil
Lavender Oil
Wheat Germ Oil





Double Peek

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had lovely weekends.  Mine was jam-packed with wedding errands, birthday brunches, and two engagement sessions.  It flew by in such a rush, I feel like I need a weekend to recover from the weekend! 

My camera is filled with client photos but not much on the personal side so I'll leave you with a double sneak peek from my two engagement sessions.  Adam + Cassi wanted a more urban backdrop for their photos while Anna + Tyler felt the beach and bridge was more for them.  Both sessions were so much fun and a great contrast to each other.  Can't wait to share more with you soon! 


How was your weekend?




Happy Weekend

Somehow I managed to inadvertently take an unplanned blog break this week.  It was nice, and much-needed, but before you go getting all jealous imagining me doing something fun and glamorous, let me just say I used the time to relax, re-energize, and re-focus on work stuff I've been neglecting.  Also, I somehow went three days without leaving the house except to go for a short walk once.  Sometimes you just need to be a hermit every now and then.

This weekend is actually pretty jam-packed for me so I'll be back next week with some photos, thoughts, recipes, and maybe an outfit or two.  In the mean time, enjoy your first weekend of April!






16 Photos and 4 Goals | How's that for a literal post title?

I know everyone says it at the beginning of each new month but time really is flying by.  I feel like we just got engaged last week and yet, here we are, less than 6 months out from the big day.

I also can't believe my busy season is starting up in the next couple of weeks.  With at least one work-related scheduling every weekend from now until July 27th, I took full advantage of my down time during March.

cool cars in the city // best homemade French fries // the goods // Farley's with the Fiance

lazy kitty // out on a weeknight // Girls // silly time with the Niece

blossom by blossom // dancing queen // kale salad // o hai internetz

a little pop of pink // afternoon light // fog city // what a difference a day makes

I've also been working on my goals for April.  I have a few business-related goals (update marketing materials, simplify my accounting process, etc.) but those are kind of boring to talk about here on the bliggity-blog.  I think the little habits that will improve the quality of my day-to-day life are much more interesting.  Here's a little bit of what I'll be working on this month:

1. Develop a morning routine and stick to it.  I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a morning person.  I loathe mornings.  It takes a good 20-30 minutes and a solid meal before I'm even in the mood to say, "Good morning."  So being productive in those early hours is quite a challenge for me (and by early hours I mean pre-10 a.m.).  I think developing a routine that works and that I can stick to is the key to making the most of that a.m. time.

2. Work out 4-5x a week.  I want to keep building on the momentum I established during Lent.  Continuing to work out everyday, 7 days a week, is a bit much but I think 4-5 days is definitely manageable.  And it's a big improvement from the 2-3 times a month I was doing back in December/January/February...

3. Let myself relax, guilt-free.  With almost 20 weddings on the books plus planning one of my own that's taking place in less than 6 months, things are about to get real crazy, real quick.  But one of the things I've learned about self-employment is that any time I'm doing something fun or relaxing or just for me, I feel guilty that I'm not spending that "free" time working.  This month, I'm working on letting myself enjoy that time without feeling guilty for it.

4. Finish reading two more books.  This one might be a bit difficult but it goes hand-in-hand with letting myself relax guilt-free.  Of course, the next few books I want to read are work-related but I'm catching up with my old friend, Harry Potter, in between business books.

Do you have any goals for April?




Easter Recap

I realized in putting these photos together for this post that there is absolutely no way you'd ever know these were photos of Easter if I didn't tell you.  Our Niece stole the weekend.  And when I wasn't taking tons of photos of her, we were talking about how fun next Easter will be when she can walk and hunt Easter eggs and do fun Easter crafts with us.  She's the bestest baby in the whole wide world.

I did manage to snap a few at the brewery we went to yesterday.  The Fancy Fiance gave up alcohol for Lent so we celebrated by hitting up Lagunitas Brewery Co. and indulging in a few lunchtime brewskies.

Lagunitas is a very laid back, kid- and dog-friendly spot for a tasty lunch and refreshing drink.  If you're not sure what kind of beer you're in the mood for, you can always order some of their sample-sized beers.  We got the Around the World sample - 4 oz. servings of 16 of their yummy brews!

"Lagunitas Brewing Company Petaluma"
"lagunitas brewing company petaluma"
"lagunitas brewing company petaluman"
"lagunitas brewing company petaluma"
"lagunitas brewing company petaluma"
"lagunitas brewing company petaluma"
"lagunitas brewing company petaluma"

How was your Easter weekend?


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