Sunday, February 23, 2014

Almost there...

Two things. 
  1. I can't believe it's almost March. Which means it's almost my 35th birthday. How in the HELL did that happen? I swear I just turned 30, like, 5 seconds ago. Oh, time. Please slow down. I'm running like a mad woman to catch up and I'm tripping on my shoe laces in the process. I'm okay with turning 35; the same amount of years FROM 20, as I am TO 50. Okay, yeah, that's a little weird. But I won't complain. I read somewhere once that it's a privilege to grow older, one that is not given to many, so I should enjoy it while I can. And it's true. My Mum's sister passed away in her early thirties from breast cancer, leaving behind 3 small children; I never met her.  It breaks my heart knowing how much of life she missed out on, all the moments with her children, all the moments beside my mother that she never got to see. So, no. I will not complain that I am no longer in my twenties, like MANY 30-somethings tend to do. Life is too precious to discriminate against any great moment based on age. I pledge to enjoy each and every one of these moments; whether I'm 35...or 50.  
  2. A few weeks ago, my dear BFF and I (under the name Elle and James Photography: a mix of our most used nicknames) photographed two very lovely and GORGEOUS people. This photography thing sure is fun! I think know I still have so much to learn, but I'm getting a real kick out of it! And Elle and I definitely have a fun time together. She's THE BEST partner in crime. Here's just a few pics of the beautiful engaged couple!!!

    Aren't they lovely?! Don't you just wish you could hate them because they're so perfect? Yeah, it's not possible. They are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside: nice and sweet and lovely as can be. And it's so obvious how much they adore one another. Many congratulations Ellie and Jeremy!!! Thanks for letting us take some pics of your cuteness! xo

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Chase and Shannon...

A couple weeks ago, my BFF Ellen and I shot a wedding! It was super fun and entirely out of my comfort zone. But I'm so glad I said yes when a friend of my brother-in-law asked if I was interested in being their wedding photographer. I enlisted Ellen to be my second shooter and we really had a blast working together. Shannon and Chase were lovely and completely laid-back. The weather was pretty terrible, but we made the best of it, and, from what I hear, a little rain (and lots of wind) is good luck for a long and happy marriage! Here's a few pics from that fun day! Cheers!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Do: Fall Fun!

Oh, man. I am such a terrible blogger. But I'm back in school and busy as a bee (BZZZZ). Just thought I'd check in and post some fun pics from our adventure to Bellewood Acres Farm to pick up some pumpkins (and vodka!).  My hubby and I and my lovely in-laws had a swell time clomping through the mud for the perfect gourd and we also enjoyed ourselves a yummy vodka tasting! I hope you all are enjoying the lovely fall weather. It is my favorite time of year, hands down. No contest. :)

Oh and Caleb and I also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary!!!! 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

ARC Tour: Ink

Please, dear friends, both real and cyber, explain to me how it is ALREADY August. Because I simply need to know how and/or why Summer is trying to abandon me so quickly. Was it something I said? Like, how wonderfully, gloriously, sunshine-y, and (did I say) wonderfully amazing the weather has been here in the PNW these past few months? And because I said it out loud, Summer decided to hurry up its pace and pass the baton to Fall a little too quickly; maybe I should have knocked on the pocket wood my husband carries around for such a purpose (and when I say "pocket wood," I literally mean he has a piece of actual wood that he carries in his wallet to knock on in the case of our saying something out loud that needs to then be followed by a knock on wood to avoid whatever sort of bad luck may follow if we don't; THAT is what I mean, so get your minds out of the gutter).  

SIDE NOTE: The origins of knocking on wood; pretty interesting stuff. 

Moving is August. Which also means I can now say, sadly and with a frown, "I go back to school next month" (I wish knocking on wood might change THAT fate, but not much can be done in that arena). I guess all good things must come to an end, but hopefully only to make room for more good things.  And while I will be ever-so-melancholy to see Summer go, one of the absolute BEST summers I have seen here in the last 20 years, at least my very favorite season of all is just around the corner; though Summer has my gratitude, Fall has my heart. Always has.  But I will not say hello to my old friend just yet. We still have a few weeks left before the changing trees signal the return of hot cider, warm sweaters, BOOTS, scarves, PUMPKINS, and the like. And until then, this girl will continue to praise the sunshine and READ as many books as she can. 

Speaking of reading, a few months ago I found a super cool blog called Literary Lushes, that specializes in ARC tours. An ARC, also known as an Advanced Readers Copy, is a paperback edition of a yet-to-be-published book that is given out primarily for the purpose of being reviewed by newspapers, magazines, bloggers, et al. Many times these ARCs are not entirely complete, and may also lack final proofreads or official cover designs. Literary Lushes basically sends out these ARCs on tours, where a few of us lucky readers are allowed one week to devour a book we've signed up for on the site, then once we've finished, mail if off to the next reader on the list and so on and so forth.  I love it! I've come across a few new books to add to my "to read" list just by perusing the titles. The first ARC tour that I took part in with Literary Lushes was for the book INK by Amanda Sun. So here's my review, and a big THANKS to Literary Lushes for adding me to the tour!

Ink by Amanda Sun.

First off, isn't this cover dreamy? I have to admit, I am one of "those people" that sometimes picks my reads by how much I am drawn to the cover.  And let's face it, I'm a pink addict, so this cover in particular speaks to the girly-girl in me. I find it lovely. The premise of the novel I found super intriguing, as well. An American girl who has gone through an extremely trying moment in her life and is sent to live with a relative in Japan until the rest of her family can figure out what to do with her permanently.  I had never read any YA books that had been set in this part of the world and it's always been a place I would love to visit someday, so I was excited to dig in to this one. 

The story centers around Katie Greene, who, as mentioned above, is living in Japan with her aunt after a family tragedy occurs at home. She is adrift in an unknown sea, in a land where she clearly doesn't fit in. Without giving too much away, she meets a boy (don't they always), and soon finds herself immersed in an ancient battle between good and evil. And this is where the title comes in; the boy, Tomohiro, can do magical and seemingly impossible feats with ink. He can draw pictures that aren't only beautiful, but terrifyingly realistic; did Katie just see one of his drawings move?! Maybe. It's both scary and exciting, at the same time. I really enjoyed the story and found it to be new and original. I loved getting a glimpse into a world that is entirely foreign to me. The author does a nice job with weaving traditional Japanese language into the narrative, as well, and her description of the landscape is awesome. I could truly see the cherry blossom trees swaying in the breeze in my mind.  

My only issue with this book, though, was the rest of the writing, the filler stuff in between the descriptions. To me, it just seemed like it was all over the place; smooth in some parts, clunky in others.  Some of the language didn't seem to fit with the characters and most of the time I was wondering if the author was just not familiar with how teenagers talk in the western world.  I, of course, wouldn't have a clue as to how teenagers relate to one another in Japan, so maybe that's where the disconnect happened for me.  But then I had to remind myself that this is indeed a young adult novel, so maybe I was just being a bit too critical.  Sometimes I read YA books that are able to be enjoyed by all ages, adults included, and sometimes I read YA books that are clearly meant for only the young (even though I hate to think of myself as old, just older-ish).  And while there were a few parts of this novel that really annoyed the heck out of me, and had me rolling my eyes (like I did through the entire Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy) I still find myself thinking about it, which is a good sign that I liked it, even with some of the shortcomings.  I would definitely recommend it to others, and I look forward to the second book in the series, where I usually find that the writing gets better as an author gets comfortable with their voice. Mostly I look forward to the next cover!!! More pink, I hope. :) 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Party Like it's 1999.

Last weekend was a real hoot! Or shall I say, it was a real Hootie and the Blowfish! My BFF turned 34, so we partied like it was 1994. Our guests went all OUT for the '90s-themed bash we threw in honor of her big day! I was super impressed, as the '90s, I came to find out during my own search for the perfect ensemble, are a bit hard to nail down. It's a decade that was kind of all over the place when it came to fashion fads. I decided to give a nod to a few different '90s-inspired fashion choices; neon, flannel, Doc Martens, Swatch watches, choker necklaces, to name a few. But snap-crotch bodysuits and scrunchies would have been great, too. Here's just a smattering of pics from our totally awesome photo booth; the BEST party accessory there is. And not only was our DIY photo booth the big hit of the party (besides the birthday girl, of course) it was super easy and very inexpensive to make. My dear BFF already had the white butcher paper. Using three long sheets taped together with duct tape, we splashed neon paint that I found at Joann's for $1.99 per 8oz tube (I found an even better deal at Michael's, a 6 pack of neon paint for only $5.99) in a Pollock-esque pattern, with the finishing touch being brightly colored Post-it-like letters that we adhered using double sided tape. Then just position your camera on a tripod and get yourself a nifty remote (like THIS ONE I bought on eBay). You can also make your photo booth super professional-looking with THESE photography lights that my BFF has, which helped a lot once the sun went down. Of course, you'll need lots of fun props. We printed out some quintessentially '90s television stars, and carefully cultivated other '90s-themed items, like giant cell phones and a life-size Beavis and Butthead cardboard cut-out. Assemble all the aforementioned items, and voila! You've got yourself a totally tubular photo booth! I've decided that from here on out, every party we throw MUST HAVE a photo booth. It truly is something to behold. ENJOY!
I'm pretty much obsessed with the blow-up Zima bottle I found HERE.

I love this! Ace Venture: Pet Detective. Ha!

The Birthday Girl. 

Me!!! And John Stamos.


Another obsession: Clear envelopes. 

Party favors!!! '90s Divas coloring book, found HERE.

Saved by the Bell inspired dessert table!

You can't have a '90s party without Zima...that's like Beavis without Butthead, or Saved by the Bell without Zack Morris. Wrong all around!

Ellen's Easy Zima Recipe

Any of the following: Sprite/7up/Sierra Mist
Don't forget to ADD ICE!

CHEERS! xoxo