My Favorite Things: June 201206.28.12

Lane Baldwin Photography Favorite Things

1. My new office light. Can you believe that Nathan made this mason jar chandelier?? Maybe you can if you saw all the amazing stuff he did in our master bedroom. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of mason jars, so this light—the first big thing we’ve done in my office—fits my style perfectly. Click here to learn how he made it.

2. Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu. In 1996, my friends and I used to “play Olympics.” We were all obsessed with the Magnificent Seven, and I loved Dominique Moceanu most of all. So I was excited when I saw that Dominique published a new book. I’m only a couple chapters in and already I’m transported back to my childhood.

3. Birthday cupcakes. Nathan made me (side note: Do I say “Nathan made me … ” way too much? Maybe that’s a hint I need to do some more around the house) ice cream cone cupcakes for my birthday. Cupcakes? Good. Ice cream cones? Good. Sprinkles? Good. What’s not to like here?

4. Zero-gravity lounger. This chair? It’s so comfy. I’ve only ever had those cheap plastic lounge chairs and this thing is waaaay better. I think I may go take a nap …

5. Anthro birthday coupon. Do I post about Anthropologie every, single favorite things? I think so. That’s OK because I love it. And that’s why I was stoked when a birthday discount showed up in the mail. I have a hard time paying full price for a lot of stuff in that store, so this was a good excuse to peruse and not feel quite so guilty picking up a thing or two.

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My Favorite Things: May 201205.18.12

My Favorite Things1. Real Simple. I haven’t had a lot of time to read this month. Actually, if I’m being completely honest, I’m still kind of grieving over the end of The Hunger Games so I’m taking my time picking up another book. Sad, but true. So, in place of books this month, I’ve been catching up on all my unread Real Simples. I love this magazine! I feel more put together and organized just reading the articles. A good cup of tea while reading doesn’t hurt either. :)

2. My running shoes. Oh how I love getting outside to work out these days! I probably work out BETTER when I’m inside doing Insanity, but I would much rather go for a run around the neighborhood and be in the sun.

3. Aperture. Thanks to a recommendation from a photographer friend, I have cut my photo editing time in half with this program! I.love.it. What was I doing four months ago?! Such quick culling and post processing, and the best part is that I can batch process a set of similar photos. LOVE!

4. Big flower blooms. I’m digging the big bloom bouquets that are in style right now. There’s something so romantic and feminine about those whimsical petals. I need to get some for our house!

5. Anthropologie coasters. My office is still pretty bare, but I did invest in some pretty, coral coasters for my desk. These things are solid and don’t slide around at all, plus they come in a bunch of fun colors.

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My Favorite Things: April 201204.16.12

Favorite Things

 

1. Downton Abbey. I know, I know, another TV show. This one is really different from anything else we watch though! It’s set in England and the first two seasons (all that’s out right now) span from 1912-20. The aristocratic Crawley family owns Downton Abbey and the show revolves around their lives at the estate, as well as their servants’. Lots of big, historic events make their way into the show and affect the characters, like the Titanic sinking, WWI and the Spanish flu. Nathan and I burned through the first two seasons at record speed and then realized season three wouldn’t be out until 2013. Quite honestly, I’m not sure if I can make it that long.

2. Anthropologie Volcano candle. Have you ever walked into an Anthropologie store and wanted to bottle up the delicious smell to take home with you? I have! And I finally asked one of the employees about the scent. It’s this Volcano candle. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s to die for. Citrus-y, fresh, a little bit exotic and lovely. Our bedroom now smells like an Anthro store. Which is totally fine with me.

3. Klean Kanteen. I’m really bad about drinking water. I’m the girl who never drinks anything with her meals, just because I don’t think of it! I’ve really been trying, however, to be better about getting hydrated and my Klean Kanteen helps. I keep it filled on my desk and typically go through two a day. Not sure if that meets my water quota for the day, but at least it’s better then where I was!

4. Carry On by Fun. I’ve listened to this song 20 times a day for the last week. And I’m not sick of it yet. Take a listen!

5. The Hunger Games series. OK, I’ll admit it. I was that person who was realllllly skeptical of this series. I never got into Harry Potter or Twilight, so it’s kind of amazing I even picked up the first Hunger Games book. But once I did I was HOOKED. The stories are so addicting, just like everyone says. I’m on book three now, and I’m going to be sad when it’s over. I’ll be doing a GoodReads review soon!

So what are YOUR favorite things this month?

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My Favorite Things: March 201203.23.12

Favorite Things

With this crazy warm and sunny weather we’re having, I’ve got summer on the brain! Can you tell? :)

1. The blooming tree in our front yard. I always wanted a tree that bloomed pretty, fluffy flowers in the spring. And now we have one! Our whole street is lined with these bright, white trees and it looks so inviting when you drive into the neighborhood. I know the flowers won’t last long, so I run to the window every couple hours to make sure it’s still there.

2. Sweetie Fry (and Nathan … he’s definitely a favorite thing! :) ). We had heard rave reviews about this new Cleveland Heights hot spot, and last night was the perfect time to try the infamous ice cream and french fries joint. We didn’t opt for fries (although they looked delicious), but the ice cream was amazing. I could tell my peanut butter with hot fudge was homemade, but in a top notch kind of way (did that even make sense?). Nathan went with a maple bacon cone (yes, real chunks of bacon in that puppy!). Ice cream aside, I felt pretty plugged in to the community sitting in the cute cafe. If you’re a Clevelander, definitely check it out!

3. Our new Fiskars lawn mower. Ever since we decided to buy our house, Nathan’s been drooling over lawn mowers. We have a really small yard, so he finally settled on this no-motor option. I was slightly nervous about it, but we broke it out yesterday and it works great! The name (“Momentum”) doesn’t lie though. Nathan said it works better the faster you go, so if you happen to drive by and we’re running around the yard, don’t be alarmed.

4. Spool No. 72. This crazy warm weather makes me want to break out all my sundresses and go frolic in a field. :) I don’t really NEED a new dress, but I like to look at them, and Spool No. 72 is my current favorite window-shopping (screen-shopping?) store. I especially like the two shown above!

5. Starbucks Iced Skinny Caramel Latte. I’m not kidding you, it’s like I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I switched from the hot latte to the iced one. Yes, I get this drink year-round, and the cold version is so refreshing. Perfect on a warm afternoon!

6. Smash. You’re probably thinking, Does this girl only ever watch TV in her free time?? The answer is … sometimes, but as I get into busy season I’m really working on being a little more purposeful with my time! More on that later. Back to TV. This show is so addicting. It’s about a musical being made, like from the verrrry beginning through the workshops through … Broadway? We’re not there yet, but I could really see this musical about Marilyn Monroe hitting the stage in real life. The songs are amazing, so I hope that’s where they’re headed.

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Mouth-Watering Toffee03.08.12

We’ve been in our house for a month and a half and haven’t met our neighbors yet. What better way to break the ice than delivering them a box of delicious, homemade toffee?

My mom has made this stuff for as long as I can remember and it’s a huge hit with my family. My cousin and I eat roughly 27 pieces each every Christmas. There’s just something about it that keeps you coming back for more.

Here’s the recipe. Super quick and easy!

Ingredients

1 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 ounces (no need to be precise) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Butter square pan or dish (9x9x2 inches). Spread pecans in pan. Heat sugar and butter to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, 7 minutes (This is important because it’s what makes the toffee hard. It will go through lots of different consistencies here). Immediately spread mix evenly over nuts in pan. Sprinkle chocolate pieces over hot mixture; place baking sheet over pan so contained heat will melt chocolate. Spread melted chocolate over toffee. While hot, cut in squares (I actually prefer to break it by hand after it’s set). Chill until firm.

Toffee Recipe Toffee Recipe

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My Favorite Things: February 201202.24.12

Cleveland Wedding Photographer

1. Insanity (the workout). Nathan and I decided to forgo a gym membership for awhile and just do Insanity each night at home. Oh.my.gosh. Have you done this workout?? It’s intense. And intense is not a strong enough word to describe it. Jumping, twisting … SO fast for so long. Almost every night we end up laying on the floor screaming, “I can’t do anymore!” I love it, and I hate it. I love to hate it.

2. Swiss Miss French Vanilla Hot Chocolate. I recently discovered that this flavor of hot chocolate exists, and I am now addicted. It’s so rich and creamy, especially if you use milk instead of water like they suggest. The perfect prime-time-TV-watching drink!

3. New Girl. At the beginning of the season, Nathan and I tried this show a couple times and decided it was too weird for us. Somehow, we watched another episode later on and afterwards looked at each other in amazement wondering how we’d let this gem pass us by. It’s SO hilarious and totally different than any other show we watch. Zoey Deschanel’s character is so dorky, and I love it. The only problem: It’s not an hour long!

4. Insulation. After we bought our house, we went around with Nathan’s work’s infrared camera and realized our house had next to no insulation. It was quite drafty. It hurt my energy-engineer husband’s soul to think of living in an extremely non-energy efficient house, so we decided to have the house insulated. Our house may look like swiss cheese (when you get an old house spray foam insulated, they have to poke through the siding) at the moment, but it’s really warm!

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My Favorite Things: January 201201.16.12

Clockwise from top left:

1) Everything Bagels. When I was working in Oxford a couple weeks ago, my co-workers and I made a Starbucks run. One of them got an everything bagel and it. smelled. delicious! That was all it took for me to re-realize my love of the garlicy snack. The next day I had one for breakfast and one for lunch. And I’ve had at least one a day since then. Obviously I’m not worried about being healthy in the new year! Now that I’m a connoisseur of everything bagels, I say the best one is at Bruegger’s … with veggie cream cheese!

2) My Quirky, New ModCloth Flats. For awhile now I’ve loved ModCloth for its whimsical sundresses, but since I had a gift card and sundresses aren’t really practical in the snow, I decided to check out the shoes. My new flats are just about as practical as sundresses this time of year, but I couldn’t resist! I love that ModCloth carries Anthopologie-like products for a fraction of the cost.

3) The Sun! I don’t care if it’s so bright outside that I can barely see the road while driving, I love this sunshine! Someone told Nathan that on average Cleveland only gets nine sunny winter days a year. Maybe that’s true some years, but I have a hard time believing it; we’re about at nine already and it’s only the middle of January! Please, God, keep it coming!

4) Bamboo Dry-Erase Desktop To-Do Board. My sweet cousin Cheryl gave me this handy to-do board for Christmas. Does she know me or what? It’s like a mini dry-erase board that’s now chained to my desk.

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The Camera Bag.07.31.11

When I first became interested in photography and decided to buy a DSLR camera, my sweet grandma decided she wanted to help me. That Christmas, I opened a soft, rectangular gift. Inside the paper was my grandpa’s teal video camera case.

My grandpa loved to take videos. He took video of his family, his travels, his garden. He put every recording on a VHS so we could watch them for years to come. And we do.

So, when I saw my grandpa’s video camera case in that paper, I was humbled. She was giving me his case. I knew I had to take unbelievable care of it.

For the last two years, I’ve lovingly used my grandpa’s teal video camera case every time I went on a photo project. When I shot my first wedding with Amanda, his case came with me. When I took pictures around my neighborhood after a two-foot snowfall, his case came with me. When I bought my third lens I worked the case’s contents like a jigsaw puzzle until everything fit and the latch closed.

Not long after that lens purchase, I knew I had to get a bigger bag. One thing about photography is that your bag doesn’t stay neat for very long. You’re constantly changing out lenses and batteries and cards. And you have to do it FAST.

So, a couple weeks ago, I decided to take the plunge. After lots of research between Kelly Moore bags and Epiphanie bags, I decided to buy the Kelly Moore JuJu. I needed a BIG bag that would fit everything and this bag does, and more! I can fit my camera body, my flash, three lenses, plus have an extra slot for my chargers, batteries, cards, etc. AND, there’s tons of outside pockets for chapstick, pens, gum, etc.

I absolutely love it! If you’re in the market for a new bag, I highly recommend the Kelly Moore JuJu. It’s super sturdy but light at the same time.

As for my grandpa’s video camera case, I won’t give up on it. It’s sitting next to my desk, and one day I’ll grab it again and take it on another adventure with me. I know that’s the way my grandpa would want it.

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My Favorite Things: Annie’s Cheddar Snack Mix06.13.11

So, I debated doing my first favorite things post about food, but I have a lot of favorite things, so why not start here? Plus, I’m eating this stuff right now, and it’s on my mind. Seriously, you guys, it’s un.believable. :) Like what-the-heck-do-they-put-in-this-stuff un.believable. I could eat a box in two days. I miiiight have even eaten a box in one day once … :)

Do yourself a favor and go buy yourself a box of Annie’s Cheddar Snack Mix. (And, no, Annie’s does NOT pay me for marketing, but maybe they should. I think I keep them in business.)

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