The Warrior Dash08.31.12

You guys. I got out of my box last weekend. I ran uphill through the woods, swam with my shoes on and played in mud. If you know me, you know that this is so not me. I pretty much do everything by the book (i.e., swimming means you take your shoes off, seeing mud means you walk around it rather than lay in it).

Life can get kinda stale though when you don’t spice it up every once in awhile, so when my friend Molly asked me to do the Warrior Dash, I felt like this was my chance. Have you heard about these new racing phenomenons? There’s a whole slew of them, but the Warrior Dash is a 5K, and I felt like I could handle that.

What I totally underestimated were the obstacles that stand in the way of you finishing the race! I know some people say they’re so easy, blah, blah, but I for one thought it was kinda hard to swim with heavy shoes weighing me down. And how about those logs that sit in 4.5 feet of water and SPIN when you try to go over them? Ridiculously hard (I blame it on being short).

Still though, despite the grueling 40-minute race and the hefty price tag that comes along with running in one of these, it was fun. Yes, fun! Who knew?

Warrior Dash
(P.S. Thanks to Sharon for actually bringing her camera to the race! :) )

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 12 + 4 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Kelly & Josh | Wedding08.29.12

Remember Kelly and Josh? Well, I got to shoot their wedding with the lovely Amanda Donaho. She’s pretty awesome and gave away a wedding last year (where I got my giveaway idea), and Kelly and Josh won! It was fun having her in my territory and second shooting alongside her again. Check out her blog post here, and enjoy a couple photos from my perspective.

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer I hung out with the guys while Amanda stayed with the girls.

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 4 + 7 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Goodreads: The Little Women Letters08.28.12

This month I read just one book, but it was what I’m calling a window-seat book: quick, lighthearted, entertaining. Can I copyright that term? :) Here it is!

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly. This is a current-day Little Women, and actually, these sisters are the descendants of the March girls. What’s not to love about a take on the classic? Each sister reminds you of one of the March sisters, and as the story follows them through their 21st-century lives, it takes a lot of the same twists and turns as the classic. My verdict? It was a little cheesy, but a must-read if you’re a Little Women fan. I’d give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

As the weather’s gotten a little cooler and rain has actually fallen out of the sky (imagine that!), all I’ve wanted to do is curl up with a book. Look for more than one Goodread next month hopefully! And if you have good book recommendations, please share! I’m always looking for something new.

Little Women Letters

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 10 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

When I Grow Up, I’ll Drink My Coffee Black.08.27.12

McDonald’s employee: Welcome to McDonald’s. What can I get for you?

Mom: I’ll have a medium coffee with two creams and a packet of Equal.

Every time my mom ordered her coffee, she’d turn and say to me, “When I grow up, I’ll drink my coffee black.” As a kid, I thought that was the funniest thing because my mom was grown up! Now I totally understand. I’ve learned to like the taste of coffee, but drinking it black? Huh-uh. Never going to happen … except maybe when I grow up. :)

While I definitely enjoy Starbucks, I’ve decided as of late that I need to be making my own lattes instead of spending $3.25 every time I need a pick-me-up. I recently got my very first coffee maker and have been experimenting with hot coffee. This morning though? I wanted something cold, so I made up an iced coffee/smoothie recipe I thought I’d share. There’s a slash in there because it’s more iced coffee consistency with just a little thickness to it. I’m a big texture person; I’ve got your back!

Lane’s totally-made-up, not-grown-up iced coffee/smoothie
(Be forewarned, this makes enough for three-ish glasses)

6-8 ounces of bold, black coffee, chilled
1 container of plain Greek yogurt
4-6 ounces (totally made that up. Really, it’s a couple pours) of store-bought iced coffee (I use International Delight, vanilla)
1-ish teaspoon of vanilla sugar (regular sugar would be equally as delicious I’m sure!)
10-12 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy! :)

The Greek yogurt makes the consistency a little thicker, plus it gives it a nice little tang (also why I add some vanilla sugar) and you get your morning protein with the caffeine. Let me know if you have an even better iced coffee/smoothie recipe. I’m always up for trying something new!

Coffee Smoothie

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 4 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

FAQ: Designing Albums08.23.12

I’m a newbie when it comes to album design. I just recently started using Madera as my album company and The Bobbi Shop templates to design albums, so please know that this is just what’s worked for me … there are LOTS of options out there. If you have a good one, I’d love to hear about it!

Why did I decide to pay for my album design templates when there are lots of free options? Quite honestly, I love Bobbi + Mike’s work and knew that their products would be topnotch. And guess what? I was right! Before I committed, I tried the free trial. Considering I wasn’t a veteran to album design, this was crucial.

If you decide to use b+m’s templates, know you’ll be using InDesign. I was NOT familiar with InDesign before I started but that’s OK because Bobbi walks you through everything with a really in-depth tutorial. It’s a little overwhelming at first, but a lot of the tutorial is practicing over and over so it starts to sink in.

Photography album templates

Another reason I decided to go with this album design option is because I had heard that they were SUPER quick and easy. I’ve heard lots of photographers talk about how time-consuming album design is and I didn’t want to get stuck there right off the bat. Plus, Bobbi boasts that her templates are “the most ridiculously amazing get-your-life-back album design templates ever.” How’s that for tempting?

And after using the templates I have to say that they are pretty quick. See that box up there in the bottom left-hand corner? Those are your album pages options, and while there are a lot of them, once you decide on a design it’s amazingly fast to stick your pictures in there and be DONE. No finagling the size, placement, etc. It’s set!

Here’s a look at some actual page spreads I’m designing, featuring the lovely Dee Dee and Dave. Soon I will show you the finished product!

Photography album design Photography album design Photography album design

I’d love to hear feedback on your album design experiences. What works for you? What doesn’t?

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 5 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Melissa & Mike | Engagement08.22.12

It was an absolutely perfect day all around when I met Melissa and Mike in Bay Village. These two are the most laid back, go-with-the-flow couple and were up for anything I asked them to do (read: getting wet; see below). I’m pretty sure this says it all: Mike gave up a basketball game to do these photos. If that’s not love I don’t know what is. Haha. :)

Look for Melissa and Mike on the blog again next month. They’ll be tying the knot at the end of September!

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Oh you two. This is so you guys. :)

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Melissa said she wanted a “barefoot and organic” kind of engagement session. That’s what I think when I look at that photo above.

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer You guys are such good sports. The things I ask people to do!

Cleveland Wedding Photographer My absolute favorite! The light was amazing!

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Then it was over to Huntington Beach for a few more photos …

Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer Cleveland Wedding Photographer You’re so pretty, Melissa!

Cleveland Wedding Photographer

To see more from Melissa and Mike’s engagement session, click here to view a SLIDESHOW or watch it here:

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 5 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

101 in 1001: #25 See Niagara Falls and #67 Visit Canada08.21.12

Niagara Falls

Two 101 things in one post! Whoo! Nathan and I headed up north for an early anniversary celebration since neither of us had seen Niagara Falls. I had never even been to Canada, and now that we live in Cleveland it’s all so close. We stayed at a quaint b&b, took in the falls, did some wine tasting, and enjoyed perfect weather. Some things I learned on this trip:

  • Even though Mapquest says it will only take you 3.5 hours to get to St. Catharine’s, allow lots (and lots and lots) of extra time for traffic jams and long waits at the border.
  • If you think you packed your brush, check five more times. It doesn’t always make it into your bag. If my hair looks like a rat’s nest in any of these photos, it’s because I didn’t brush it the whole weekend. Haha! No joke.
  • Plan ahead when going to Niagara Falls! Nathan and I just kinda winged it and wished we would have taken into account that it was a Saturday in August when we were visiting one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country (world!). We forewent the Maid of the Mist and walk near the falls because of crazy waiting times.
  • Just because the bigger ice cream cone looks amazing when you’re standing in line doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.
  • Getting a picture of a Canadian flag isn’t as easy as it seems. That picture up there was taken riiiight before we crossed the border back to the United States. None of the other flags we saw throughout the weekend were blowing quite right!

Niagara Falls We stayed at the Springbank House in St. Catharine’s and loved it! The owners are so friendly and the house is so cool! Plus, it was away from all the touristy Niagara Falls stuff.

Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Delicious breakfasts!

Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Niagara-on-the-Lake is so cute and quaint! Definitely check it out if you’re headed that way!

Niagara Falls Niagara Falls

 The end! :)

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 13 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

My Favorite Things: August 201208.20.12

My Favorite Things
1. Fresh flowers. Lately I’ve been trying to use all the bottles from our wedding, so our house looks like a florist shop. But I’m enjoying the bright colors and fabulous smells. :)

2. My Ann Taylor Loft clutch. This is totally frivolous but I’m tired of carrying around my giant purse. It’s pretty freeing to slip a clutch around your wrist, plus it’s sparkly and girly too. :)

3. Fresh basil. OK, please help me out here. You buy a whole carton of fresh basil from the store and you have 85% of it left over after you use it for one recipe. How do you save it so it lasts?? I love the stuff, especially the way it smells, and we’ve been using it in everything we can so it doesn’t go bad. I especially liked this basil beer bread recipe.

4. Blueberries. I have vivid memories of picking blueberries at my grandparents house each summer. When I was little, I was never a huge fan of the fruit, but I loved filling our cartons with the deep blue berries and they always tasted good coming right off the bush. These days, I actually like blueberries and we’ve been using them in everything, just like the basil (but not together :) ).

5. Café Civilization. This little coffee shop in Tremont is so authentic. I don’t know what the building used to be, but it’s really old and has lots of dark wood and cool booths inside. The only downside is that they only take cash, and I never carry cash! I inevitably have to run to the ATM.

6. A Beautiful Mess blog. I’ve been loving this blog lately. It’s way cooler and artsier than I am, but it makes me feel like I’m a vintage clothes-wearing, DIY-loving, right-brained hipster.

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 2 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Coming Up …08.17.12

Sometimes I get so hung up on all I have to do that I forget that being busy is a huge blessing. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have moved to Cleveland less than a year ago and already worked with such amazing people. You guys make this worth it and so much fun!

I still have a to do list, but I’m putting it on hold for this weekend so Nathan and I can celebrate our anniversary early! :) I’ll be back at it on Monday, but I wanted to give you a little preview of what’s coming up.

Melissa and Mike’s engagement:

Cleveland Engagement Photos Cleveland Engagement Photos

Kelley and Josh’s wedding (shot with the lovely Amanda Donaho):

Willoughby Wedding Photographer

Plus my first albums, which I can’t WAIT to show you all. :) Happy Friday!

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 13 + 13 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

The Final Product08.16.12

A few months ago I shared my new packaging, but I wanted to give you all a little peek at the final package I send my couples after their weddings …

Branded Photography Packaging Burlap and cork coasters + a Starbucks card as a gift.

Branded Photography Packaging Always a handwritten card!

Branded Photography PackagingVoila!

Packaging (DVDs, DVD pouches, cards): Kraft and Jute
Natural wood fiber (box filler): World Market
Burlap coasters: DIY (coasters are from Jelinek Cork Group)
Ribbon: The Ribbon Jar
Box: Uline

Leave Your Comment

*

What is 10 + 7 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)