forever friends

One of the best things about the holidays is the time I get to spend with family….evenings cuddled together around the wood stove catching up on all the daily chatter. Seems like this just doesn’t happen as much as we would like, so I will treasure it when it does.

The best part about it is, the older I get the closer I become to each of them. I always loved my family but I can say there was a time when I was…well…less than enthused to be seen getting dropped off for school by my Dad in his work truck. Now days, I’ll ride shotgun in any car he comes to pick me up in — added bonus if my Mom is in it too because they, along with all my siblings, truly have become my best friends.

xoxo

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3rd Annual Thanksgiving Photoshoot

For the past two years, my sister and I have orchestrated a Thanksgiving day photoshoot so we were excited to proceed with our 3rd Annual photoshoot. While the first year we put on as much make-up as possible and rushed out of the house wearing whatever clothes we had packed and last year we upped the photography and used a white background with a few flashes, this year was by far the best yet and completely out of control!

See, what I forgot to realize was that my father participated in many mountain man rendezvous shoots for his gun club back in the day and had an entire trunk full of mountain man attire! Um, yeah. You want to know how legit he was – he even hooked us up with a quiver! A quiver, you ask? Don’t worry that is the same thing we wondered when my Dad came in asking us if we had seen his quiver!

Quiver: A portable case for holding arrows.

Kelsey, seriously killing it in this light! She may be little, but that girl can model with the best of them! 

A special thanks has to be given to my Dad for photographing these and being just as crazy as us and to Ryan for still loving me despite my sometimes crazy behavior!

xoxo

Fur-eezing

Looks like fall has finally arrived in LA which means it’s finally ok to put this lovely little number in the rotation! I picked up this vest at the Melrose Flea Market a few weeks ago and have been anxiously waiting for the cooler weather to hit so I can wear it sans the weird looks! Since, I spent the last three nights being extra cuddly trying to keep warm, I think it’s safe to say that it’s almost winter and time to wear this vest to keep me from fur-eezing! Ohhh yeah, I just said that — Muawahhh!

xoxo

DIY | Bathroom Tray

Since, the blog has been filled with tons of nature, travel, adventure types of photographs lately, I thought it was time to bring the girlieness back and this bathroom tray is just the ticket!

When we first moved into our new apartment, I spent several Home Goods trips looking for the perfect tray to accent my new soap dispenser.  All of the trays I came across were either too modern, bulky, big, or sloped in the middle like a saucer. I realized that an old picture frame was just the perfect size and had enough decoration to add to my otherwise plain bathroom counter. I planned to purchase some really cool, vintage looking fabric from Joann’s, but was to eager to wait for a trip to the store, so instead I used a piece of lace I had on hand. {The lace actually came from a pair of H&M lace tights which were hideous and oh so 80’s Madonna-esq, but they were only $10 and I knew that lace would come in handy for a project somewhere down the road!}

I removed the old picture from a 4×6 frame. I flipped the back piece of cardboard over, so the black velvet side would be facing up, not the cardboard side. Then cut the lace leaving about 3/4″ extra so that I could wrap it around the velvet and hot glue. Once all the lace was glued and the corners were cut down so they weren’t too bulky, I placed the glass back into the frame, followed by the new lace backing and closed the hinges. I now had a bathroom tray that would hold all my little girlie treats!

xoxo

Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 38

With so many pictures from our trip it is impossible to pick a picture of the week, but I decided on this one from Lower Canyon Falls in Yellowstone. The canyon lit up by the sun was breathtaking!!! This was the view from the brink of the Lower Canyon Falls facing east.

We happened upon this part of the park as the last part of our day unwound, and Mrs. I-want-to-do-and-see-it-all insisted that we had to go check out the canyon because we would not want to come back to this region once we went back to camp (all features are at least 40 minutes away from each and this particular one was about an hour from our camp at Grant Village). Turns out, we came upon this feature at the perfect time of day (5pm-ish) because the sun was setting behind us, thus illuminating the canyon walls in the most brilliant golden yellow. I promise you, the canyon really is that colorful and beautiful in person – no extra Photoshop tricks there!

This was the view from Inspiration Point facing back (west) at the Lower Canyon Falls. We were standing right below that sun flare on the right.

My dear friends, THAT on the left is the edge of the waterfall. and on the RIGHT is my intelligent husband.  I will never understand why he must walk down, off the path mind you, to stand so close to the edge!  There is nothing right there that you can’t see from the safety of the path located above! 

And this is the brink of Lower Canyon Falls. As with most waterfalls, they leave you awe struck as to how they can continually dump so much water over the edge, year after year after year. Lower Canyon falls did not disappoint and was WELL worth the 20 minute hike down to the edge.

Neither of us wanted to step away from this beautiful site, but we knew we had an hour drive back to camp and had to begin making dinner. Ryan loved watching the water fall over the edge of the cliff and I am pretty sure I could have let him stand there all day doing so.

That is one happy husband!

xoxo

Whoa – Yellowstone!

After an 8-hour drive from Glacier National Park, we had finally arrived and were greeted by this unexpected, inspiring rock archway with an inscription that reads: “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People” – by far the best National Park entrance we’ve seen yet. Here is an excerpt from the travel journal, as accounted by Ryan:

“Neither Shan nor I printed our our plan so we didn’t really remember if we were supposed to stay in Glacier on 9/5 or drive to Yellowstone. Excited to see what was next, we drove to Yellowstone. Throughout the trip Shan and I developed a driving system: (1) I pack the car, organize, and clean all the compartments; (2) Shan & Ry alternate 2-hour driving shifts; (3) While I drive Shan pulls out ALL the camera gear, video camera and snacks and then fills the passenger footwell and all compartments; (4) While Shan drives Ryan puts away everything Shan pulls out. The system works well for us.

The GPS charted our path from Glacier to Yellowstone, a VERY LONG path. The first couple hundred miles were the most beautiful. Shan and I talked about how it was sort of a shame that we had to spend the whole day driving…but in reality it was not a shame at all. I love doing long drives with Shan, we always have fun and we got to spend a lot of time together.”

We were greeted by several of Yellowstone’s most well known residents – the elk, buffalo, wolves, and grizzlies.


Um, seriously these guys are huge and not to be messed with! While they get incredibly close to the car and don’t appear to be afraid, all it would take is one head butt and the car door would be crushed. Despite what people said, this scene just never got old!

At times, these bison, buffalo, tatonka, went on like this for miles and miles – it was the most peaceful sight. Looking out over the valley and seeing these natural creatures gave a calming sense that this is how the world is supposed to work. 

And then, THIS – this is what NOT to do – get out of car to film the bison with your iPad! Real winner there!

All was good and well, until Mr. Grizzly came along to say hi…..to be continued.

Home Love

85mm, f/1.4, ISO 1600, 1/2500

Today, I wanted to share a few photos from a recent trip back home along with my camera settings. I love this dangling rosemary that my Mom planted on her patio along with the aged pot. This was shot right at dusk about 30 minutes before sun set.

85mm, f/2.5, ISO 640, 1/400

This is a photograph of my little sister – some might say younger sister, but since she is both younger and little, I prefer little sister. Most of my editing involves simple use of the curve tool and the burn tool.

85mm, f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/250085mm, f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/1600

Even though I shoot 99% manual, I usually don’t spend too much time thinking about my camera settings when I am taking a photograph. I select my desire aperture and then roll my ISO and shutter speed until my in camera meter is on target, which is usually exposed for a half stop over because I love bright pictures. When I put my camera down, I usually start shooting with whatever settings I had last – TERRIBLE habit that I need to get better at!

One thing that I realized when putting in my .exif data into this post is that I am often using a very high ISO which requires me to use a fast shutter speed. In a perfect world, I like to keep my ISO as low as possible, for better clarity.

Anyway, just a few photos that I wanted to share because I love visiting home to re-charge the batteries and these just remind me of the time spent at such a loving place. Plus, I had to give my Mom’s new milk bottles a little love because they are pretty much the neatest thing around!

xoxo

TASTING TIME

PhotobucketWhen I received the email inviting us to enjoy a day in the beautiful Temecula Valley with great friends to celebrate the birthday of Jena & Jared, I couldn’t wait! I love a chance to get out of the confines of the city buildings and enjoy the open space a bit. There is just something so relaxing about it all. We boarded the bus and headed to Callaway VIneyards and Longshadow Ranch Winery.

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PhotobucketI love the beautiful colors of the vineyards and the warm sunshine. Longshadow Winery had an outside tasting area under a canopy of trees which provided fantastic light and allowed me to use our 85mm with a wide aperature (something I am not usually able to do in the middle of the day). Most of the these shots under the tree where shot at f/2.5 (for any camera geeks that may want to know).

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Example of how to not look cool while wine tasting….drink at the same time as your friend and get caught.

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Yep, caught another set of guys not looking cool despite the cigar in hand. I will consider this a half offender.

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All and all, it was a fantastic day with wonderful friends! Happy Birthday guys and thanks to Anna for arranging everything!

XOXO