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! :) )

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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

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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! :)

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In Progress | My Office08.13.12

I love that Nathan and I thought we might be done upgrading/painting/decorating our house by the end of the year … as in 2012. HA! We had absolutely no idea what it means to be homeowners, and we’re now realizing that all those lofty plans take a backseat to a leaky chimney or a freezing cold house. But like I said in my last house post, I am appreciating all of this and I think taking it slow helps me enjoy the process.

We’re currently on our second room—my office, yay!—and Nathan has been amazing taking my grandiose ideas and making them a reality. Seriously, how did I get so lucky?

My office is really cute but really hard to figure out design-wise. It was an add-on room over the garage, and it has a peaked roof, tiny closet doors and an alcove in the middle of a wall. We decided that wainscoting was a good choice on the walls because you can’t do much with them otherwise. Plus it fit my whole vintage-but-grown-up theme (I just made that up right now). And can I please tell you that Nathan did ALL the woodwork. He is so talented. Here’s his talent in the painting department:

Office Makeover Office Makeover Here’s that wainscoting that Nathan built himself. Minus whittling the wood, he did it all.

And below, please don’t judge my messy desk. I’ve been working around all the construction. :)

Office Makeover

I’m crossing my fingers and my toes that I will be able to show you the finished product in the next couple months. Can’t wait!

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My Favorite Olympic Moment08.10.12

I’m so sad that the Olympics are almost over. As a former gymnast, I live for the Olympic gymnastics competitions (only a slight exaggeration) and this year was SO GREAT! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you must be living under a rock. :)

I’m addicted to anything Fab Five (or is it Fierce Five? I’m confused …)—videos, pictures, spoofs, etc.—but I think my absolute favorite moment was when Aly Raisman put her team gold medal around her coach’s neck after the medal ceremony. Seriously. Melt my heart. I only wish I could have been that mature and thoughtful at 18.

I love these moments you know are real because they’re so quiet and unassuming. More than any gymnastics routine, interview and appearance, this simple gesture stood out to me. These are the moments I strive to capture when I’m shooting weddings or portrait sessions. The in between stuff that means just as much as, if not more than, the headliner stuff.

[Insert super awkward transition here ...]

Have you seen the video of McKayla Maroney teaching Jenna Bush Hager how to Dougie? No? Well, here it is. Just because it’s hilarious. And it’s Friday and I can.

And one more funny for your Friday, the 21 Best Doppelgängers of the 2012 London Olympics, courtesy of buzzfeed.com. Ohhhhh my. So funny. Can’t … stop … laughing. Happy Friday everyone! :)

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Blueberry Coffee Cake & My New Morning Routine08.07.12

Just a couple weeks ago, I was stumbling down the hall to my office at 6 a.m., trying to squeeze in as many minutes as possible in front of my editing. This morning looked a lot different. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and made a healthy smoothie before turning on the Olympics for half an hour.

I’m in that mode where I’ve been in a routine for so long, it’s taking my body and my mind a little while to get out of that routine. I still felt a little guilty as I watched the Olympics, but I’m slowly realizing that I’m allowed to have some time for myself. Morning is my favorite time of day, and I’m glad I can claim it again.

On another note, who doesn’t love coffee cake for breakfast?! Nathan and I made brunch for my parents a couple days ago and we tried a new coffee cake recipe. If you have leftover fresh blueberries, you need to make this! Not too sweet, but sweet enough … if you know what I mean. :)

Cooking Light’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk (we used regular fat here … probably why it was so delicious! :) )
Cooking spray
2 cups fresh blueberries (if they’re in season and fresh, use 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (we used Penzeys vanilla sugar here)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla, egg and egg white; beat well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Spoon half of the batter into a 9-inch round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup blueberries (NOTE: If your blueberries are fresh, make sure to cover them in flour before sprinkling into cake. They’ll sink to the bottom otherwise). Spoon remaining batter over the blueberries; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup blueberries. Sprinkle the top evenly with 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

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Thoughts: Defining Success08.03.12

It’s August. As in the month that comes after July. Surprised? I, quite frankly, am surprised I made it to month eight of 2012. Month seven was a knock-down, drag-out, whirlwind of a month for me (just a slight exaggeration) and no matter how many times I checked the calendar, August seemed a long way off. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But now that I’m here, I feel kind of nostalgic. You probably want to slap me, right? Like this girl just can’t decide what she wants! I’m slowing down, yes; something I’ve been praying for since busy season began. But to slow down, I’m giving some stuff up … namely my full-time job. I don’t really talk about the fact that I have (check: had, now it’s part-time) a full-time job in addition to being a photographer because I guess I feel like a fake. Like the only way to be a successful photographer is to devote 110% of your time to it.

I have a hard time with that because I actually like my non-photography job. Here it is: I work in communications for a fraternity. A fraternity, yes. It’s not what you think. I don’t live in the “frat house” with all the guys; I don’t attend keggers every weekend (should “attend” and “keggers” even go in the same sentence?). I work in a professional office with awesome people; I get to write and think about grammar (that’s fun for me!) … all the things I went to school for.

I get a real sense of purpose out of working. Sometimes it can get me into trouble because I work too much. And working for someone, some thing, some organization makes me feel like I’m involved, like I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Working for myself is awesome, but scary. So scary! I’m so passionate about photography. I love creating art. But it’s so daunting to count on yourself for everything. It’s all yours. To win or lose.

So, the point. Ah, yes, the point of this blog. It’s August, and I have more time. Which is amazing. It’s fabulous to wake up without feeling panic rise up in your chest that you have to start working righthisveryminuteoryouwon’tgeteverythingdone. I think the point though is that I’m realizing that I don’t have to want what everyone else wants, or makes me feel like I want. I don’t have to take 30 weddings in one season. I don’t have to get published every week. And just because most photographers aim to work only for themselves one day, I’m not so sure that’s for me. I get to define my success, whatever that means to me. And believe me, I’m figuring that out.

Northeast Ohio Photographer

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Thoughts: Breathing Deeply07.23.12

He asked if I wanted to have a picnic at the beach. Honestly? My first thought was No, I can’t. I’ll never make up the lost time. But I knew he wouldn’t accept that answer. Nathan’s a lot better than me at taking a deep breath every once in awhile, and he knew I needed it.

I was still talking myself into going as we drove to the beach through the warm summer night. We found a bench and ate crusty bread and sweet berries. The breeze blew our hair and we sat without saying a word.

This is how we balance each other. Me working too much, Nathan forcing me to breathe deeply and enjoy the moment … away from a screen. And we don’t have to say anything to know what the other is thinking: that we’re thankful to have balance. And each other.

 

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My Nutty Family06.21.12

Family pictures ”Families are like fudge … mostly sweet with a few nuts.” [Author Unknown]

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R&R06.05.12

Nathan and I got some much needed rest and relaxation a couple weekends ago at his family’s lake house. We spent time with his family, ate good food and played in the sun. Here’s a glimpse into our time at Norris Lake.

Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography Lane Baldwin Photography

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