3.29.2013

Friday's Fancies | Pretty in Pastels

Happy Friday lovelies!!  It's finally Easter, and you know what that means - Lent is almost over!  I have to say, I was pretty good about sticking to the 40 Days of Fitness plan, but I did miss a few days here and there.  It's okay, though.  Someone pointed out to me that Lent is actually 46 days, not 40, and I did not skip more than 6 days, which means I worked out 40 of those 46 days so technically I didn't cheat.  (<-- The lawyer in me still comes out from time to time...)

Anyway, I don't think I'll keep up the daily workouts but I do feel like I've gotten in the habit of exercising on the regular.  I kind of like ending my day a little early and doing yoga before dinner.  I usually end up working a little bit after dinner but I feel so much more relaxed (and with much better posture!) when I break it up like that.  Habits like that will definitely carry on past Easter but I'll be taking a day off in between workouts every now and then thankyouverymuch.

Now, onto the outfit!  This week's theme is Pretty in Pastels, which is kinda perfect for Easter don't ya think?  Our Easter is usually pretty laid back so I kept the outfit feminine and festive but still on the casual side.  As much as I love the look of white pants, this is strictly a daydream outfit.  My clumsy self would stain them before I even left the house if I wore them in real life.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Happy Easter!!!
xo


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3.27.2013

Leidilyn + Edward | Sunset at Baker Beach

Leidilyn & Edward have quickly become two of my favorite people.  Their love for each other and love for life are infectious.  For their engagement session, they wanted locations that felt natural, organic, and very San Francisco.  We started the day at the Legion of Honor, but quickly moved away from the stiff architectural structure to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding grounds.  It was the first day of Daylight Savings and we couldn't have asked for more perfect weather or light.

As the sun began to dip low in the sky, we headed over to Baker Beach to capture a few frames as it set over the Pacific Ocean.  The waves, the beautiful multi-colored sky, and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge made for the perfect organic San Francisco backdrop.  Leidilyn & Edward will be married in just a few weeks at the Blackhawk Automobile Museum in Danville, CA and I cannot wait to witness and document their happy day. 

Baker Beach Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement PhotographyLegion of Honor Engagement PhotographyLegion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Legion of Honor Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement PhotographyBaker Beach Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement Photography

When Leidilyn & I first met last fall, she mentioned that Edward threw out the idea of an engagement session under water.  We didn't quite make it to full submersion but thanks to some well-timed waves, we were all doused in salty sea water by the end of the evening!
Baker Beach Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement Photography
Baker Beach Engagement Photography
xo


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3.25.2013

Sprained Ankle, Gangnam Style

So this happened last night...


We were at a wedding (as guests!) and were about to leave when the DJ decided to play Gangnam Style.  Not one to pass up the opportunity to dance like an idiot, me and my sober self in 4-inch heels decided I needed to get just one more song in before leaving.  Right at the end of my awesomely impressive ridiculously embarrassing horse-riding move, I twisted my ankle.  I tried my best to recover like a champ but finally had to call The Fancy Fiance over to carry me off the dance floor.

I put on a tough face and walked out to the car only to find a lump the size of an egg growing out of my ankle, along with some bruising.  Since the pain kept me up until 4am last night when I finally decided to throw back a few Advils, I'm using this as an excuse to give myself a much-needed pedi and have a Girls marathon while my foot is iced and elevated today.  Happy Monday, folks.


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3.22.2013

French Fries For A Lazy Day

You have no idea how I long I sat here trying to think of a clever introduction for this recipe.  I typed-deleted-then-typed-again about four or five different intros and they were all dumb.  Dumb-ditty-dumb dumb.  So I'm gonna give it to you straight.  These French fries are the easiest French fries you'll probably ever make.  There's no double frying or heating the oil to a specific temperature.  In fact, your culinary instincts will probably resist this recipe at first.  Starting the potatoes in cold oil??  That's just so wrong.  Or is it?  Maybe it's just so right.  (<-- said in a  Ben Stiller from Tropic Thunder kind of way)

You basically chop up the potatoes into sticks, toss them in a big pot, cover them with oil, then leave them alone until they're golden brown and ready to eat.  It's so easy you could make them for lunch.  Or an afternoon snack, which I totally did and I know you want to do it too so don't judge.  Seriously, though, do not resist.  Just go to the store, buy a big ol' bag of taters and get to frying.  You can thank me later.

Super Easy Homemade French Fries



What You Need:
- 3 to 4 large potatoes (I've used russet and yukon gold - both are great)
- A large soup or stew pot
- About 6 cups canola oil (or at least enough to sufficiently cover the potatoes)
- Sea salt, to taste

What You Do:
1. Set aside a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels on it.  You'll need this to drain the fries when they're done. 

2. Wash and peel all the potatoes.  If the edges are round, slice a thin piece off the bottom to give yourself a steady surface for slicing.  Slice the potatoes about 1/4- to a 1/2-inch thick, then turn the potato and slice again to make fries.

3. Soak the fries in a bowl of clean water for about 10-15 minutes.  This is key in helping them not stick together when they cook up.

4. Add your oil to the bottom of the pot but DO NOT turn on the heat yet.  Add your fries in first.  Make sure there's enough oil to fully cover the fries.  I found mine cooked up best when there was at least a half-inch or so of oil covering the potatoes.

5. Now that your potatoes are fully submerged in the oil, turn the heat on high.  After about 5 minutes or so, the oil will come to a boil.  Fry the potatoes at a rolling boil for about 15 minutes.  DO NOT TOUCH THEM.  I'm serious about that one.  Just set your timer then read a book or watch dumb videos on them internets while resisting the urge to stir the pot (but still keep an eye on it!).

6. After about 15 minutes, some of the fries will probably start to float to the top.  It's okay to give them a little stir now to make sure they're not sticking to the bottom, then keep frying for another 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Once the fries are sufficiently golden, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain off some of the oil.  Add your sea salt or seasoning at this point, too.  It sticks better to the hot fries.

8. Enjoy the fries with ketchup, mustard, mayo - whatever you like!  Personally, I prefer to dip the too-hot-to-eat fries into a mound of ketchup thinking it'll help cool it off but it never does, and then I proceed to do it again and again burning my mouth a little less each time because they're just so good I can't wait for them to cool off before eating.

Happy Weekend!!!
xo


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3.21.2013

Awesome Readers Deserve Awesome Giveaways

You guys are a pretty awesome group of people.  You deserve an awesome little treat.  Like, maybe, a super awesome giveaway hosted by a few grateful bloggers?  I happen to have just the thing - it's one of those giveaways that I kinda wish I wasn't co-sponsoring so I could enter it myself. 

This giveaway is so awesome there will be no other Awkward & Awesome today.  Just this one.  So what is that makes this giveaway so awesome, you ask?  Well, as a matter of fact, I as just about to tell you!

1. There will be 3 lovely winners.
2. Each of those three winners will get a $100 Visa gift card.
3. Twelve bloggers are hosting the giveaway, which means you have a lot of opportunities to enter and find a few new reads, too!

You can use your Visa gift card however you'd like - new spring clothes, a fun girls night out, dinner with your Love, that new lamp you've had your eye on - anything!

You know the drill - check out the Rafflecopter below for ways to enter!  The winner will be announced Monday, April 1st.  Good luck :)

(And PS - the giveaway is not sponsored by Visa. Visa actually probably doesn't even know this is happening...)









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3.20.2013

Ani + Tim | Wine Country Love

Sometimes love is just palpable.  It can be seen, heard, felt when lovers are together.  It's in the way they look at each other, a slight smile lighting their eyes.  It's in the tone of their voice as they lovingly tease and joke with each other.  It's in the laughter they so freely share.

Ani & Tim have that special palpable kind of love.  One glance at each other and the smiles can't be stopped.  These two are affectionate and kind and funny and sweet and a pure joy to photograph.  They'll be married this summer in Sonoma, in front of friends and family traveling from afar to witness their special love.  I can't wait to capture it for them.


Ani's one request for their wine country engagement photos was to shoot in a mustard field in full bloom.  The bright yellow blossoms are not hard to find in Sonoma or Napa but the best one is right in front of Cardinale Winery.  The clouds that day made for an unreal backdrop.


 See ... palpable.


 xo


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3.19.2013

Hey, SF Bloggers - Let's Hang Out!

Hey, hey, hey all you San Francisco bloggers!  My blog friend Serena and I got to chatting and we thought a little blogger meet up might be fun.  You know, so we can say we're friends "IRL."  (That means "in real life" which I just learned maybe a week or two ago....)

So we've put together a super laid back Bay Area blogger meet up in San Francisco on April 11, 2013 from 7pm to 9pm.  This is a very casual event so if you're looking for crafty name tags or super cool DIY decor, you might be a little disappointed.  We're focusing on the essentials here, people - booze, food, and great conversation with awesome ladies (and gents... if there are any blogger gents out there...).


This is definitely not an exclusive event so if you're in the SF area and would like to come, we'd love to have you!  We're keeping the deets vague on purpose to avoid any potential creepy stalker scenarios so, if you're interested in joining us, just email me or Serena (or leave a comment below - don't forget to include your email address so we can respond!) and we'll happily pass along the info.  Hope to see you there!!


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3.18.2013

His Side of The Story

One of my favorite things to chat about with potential clients is the story of how they met.  How they came to be at the place where they are now, ready to commit their lives together and stay in it for the long haul.  Every one of these stories is special and unique.  And every one of these stories has two side.

Not too long ago, I shared our Story with all of you - the story of how The Fancy Fiance and I met and fell in love.  Well, like I said, there's always two sides, right?  So here's his side of the story.  (Btw, he references The Notebook.  What more could a girl ask for?)

From our trip to Spain in 2009

I’d been looking for a reason to introduce myself to the pretty first year from Texas long before we first spoke.  We had several mutual friends, but had never officially met.  Ostensibly the reason for my stopping her in the hallway that first time was to ask about the law school election speeches she had just heard.  But really, I was just looking for an excuse to talk to her.  (So I’m no Noah Calhoun.  Cut me some slack.)  It was only later that I learned the main reason she had attended that assembly was the free lunch.

Once Facebook made our friendship official, we began chatting more and more.  The more I got to know her, the more I liked her.  I learned she was a huge football fan and that her family tradition was to watch the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.  (That she loved football made me overlook the tragic fact that she is a Dallas fan.)  She told me how before law school, she was an actress and had founded a theatre company in Chicago.  I discovered that although she was interested in environmental law, her true passion was photography.  I also learned that we shared similar interests in food (Italian, Mexican, and pretty much anything spicy), music (Johnny Cash and Manu Chao!), and movies, and had similarly dry (and mostly off-color) senses of humor.  She told me about her large, boisterous Texan family and I told her about my large, boisterous Italian family.

Although we almost met up in San Francisco that summer, it wasn’t until September 13, 2008 that I finally asked her out.  Looking back, our first date—a home-cooked pasta dinner followed by a movie—was a perfectly appropriate start to our relationship.  As Steph mentioned, staying in, cooking dinner, and watching a movie is still a typical date night for us.

I wasted no time.  Two weeks later she met up with me and my Dad for lunch, and just over two months later she had met pretty much everyone on both sides of my family at Thanksgiving.

A lot has happened since then.  We managed to survive law school, the California bar exam, crazy law firm jobs, and the inconvenience of living in separate cities for over two years.  Although our lives have been crazy and stressful for much of the time we’ve been together, we’ve also squeezed in plenty of unforgettable moments and firsts:  an amazing trip to Italy and Spain, several weekend getaways to Disneyland, my first Frito Pie, Steph’s first pasta carbonara (a la Eric), my first trip to D.C., Steph’s first trip to Mexico, my first pair of boots, Steph’s first pair of pink pants, our first pet guinea pig . . .

I think the old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” also holds true for relationships.  The last five years have probably been the most demanding of our lives, yet here we are—more committed to each other than ever and ready to tie the knot on our five-year anniversary.

I’m just awfully grateful they served free pizza at that assembly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I know, I know, I'm the luckiest gal in all the land. :)

PS - You can find my side of the story here.


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3.15.2013

Friday's Fancies | Swimwear

I know it's barely St. Patrick's Day but with the longer days and the warmer weather we've been having, I can't help but think about summer being just around the corner.  Seeing Anthropologie's new swimwear isn't helping things much.  I'd like every one of these swimsuits and cover ups to hop in my little suitcase and join me for a week in Hawaii, thankyouverymuch.  But we all know that ain't happening any time soon.  Guess I'll just have to stare at them on my comp screen till my eyes glaze over so I can daydream about beachy days to come . . .


Top:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4
Bottom:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

Happy Weekend!!!
xo

*Nope, not sponsored by Anthropologie.  And, yes, they have two-pieces, too, if that's more your thing. ;)



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3.14.2013

Awkward & Awesome (& Awful)

AWKWARD
- Ok, this is the awful one.  Google just announced that they're "retiring" Google Reader.  Am I the only one still using it?  I read a lot of blogs ... a lot ... both for business and leisure and I manage them with Google Reader.  Now you're taking Google Reader away from me????  Just abandoning me like a lost little lamb??  How do I manage all those blogs?  How do I read them all in one little browser window in such an eye-pleasingly easy way?  What is it that everyone else is using that I'm not using because clearly I'm the only person still using Google Reader or else they wouldn't be abandoning such a wonderful product?  Would they?

 How dare you, Google.  How. Dare. You.

- Sometimes driving around San Francisco feels like I'm running the gauntlet.  People turning without using signals or breaking suddenly, bikers weaving in and out of slow-moving traffic, pedestrians darting out between cars, buses cutting you off because they can then taking for-ev-er to make super wide left-hand turns.  I'm surprised I make it home in one piece sometimes.

AWESOME
- I know the weather is a trite topic but it has been absolutely gorgeous here lately.  Like, almost summer weather gorgeous - sunny and 70 through the weekend.  If you're even just a tiny bit familiar with San Francisco, you'll know what a big deal that is!

- Today is Pi Day, aka 3.14, aka nerdiest date on the calendar.  I hope you celebrate with a lovely slice of delicious pi(e).


- Waking up when it's still dark and gray outside is the obvious Awkward to daylight savings and springing forward, but you know what's pretty Awesome about it?  Getting sunsets like these for photo shoots at the end of the day.

San Francisco Engagement Photo | Stephanie Court Photography

So now that Google is abandoning us, what do you use to manage all your blog reading?


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3.13.2013

Wise Words | Break The Rules


I'm going to break the rules and make doughnuts this afternoon.  What rules will you be breaking?


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3.12.2013

Introducting Baby Leah | San Francisco Family Photography

A lot of newborn photography focuses on the props.  A shot of Baby in a basket / water pail / fruit bowl / pumpkin / hanging hammock thingy.  A shot of Baby posed with arms folded in a way that no newborn can do naturally.  It seems newborn photography is too often about the props and cute-but-unnatural poses but not necessarily about the beautiful new life that was just created.  The new life that transformed a couple into a family.

But there's another approach.  Another way to remember those precious early days when Baby first discovered her world and Mom & Dad explored their new roles.  An approach that captures the way Mom nurtures and cradles her fragile young life.  Or the look in Dad's eyes as he marvels at the new joy in his world.  Baby's wrinkly little hands, peach fuzz-covered ears, and sleep-filled eyes are the kind of details that should never be forgotten.

And when props are involved, they should have meaning.  The sweater Mom knitted especially for her sweet little bundle.  The quirky stuffed animals and cute room decor showered upon the young family as a showing of love and affection that took root before Baby even entered the world.  The special, fleeting moments of real tenderness and real love - that is what should be documented and cherished.  And that is what I want to preserve with newborn photography.


xo


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