Friday, January 28, 2011

what is wrong with me and with this picture?

Every time I am late for anything, I blame this...

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The above is a photo of my actual closet-spilling-out-into-my-bedroom-floor. I took it with my phone this morning, as I was digging frantically for "the other shoe" yet again.

And now, can we just pretend for a minute that we are on Twitter, so I can use a hashtag? #icannotbelieveijustpostedthatpiconmyblogforeveryonetosee

What is wrong with me? :)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

feelings of thanks and joy

Maybe it's the beautiful weather outside today; or maybe it's the fact that I'm wearing a "new" {from the thrift store} sweater today in my favorite color, green; or maybe it's the fun convo about old random songs happening on Twitter amongst some of my friends...Whatever it is, my spirit, which was a little low this morning, has buoyed and I am now feeling so thankful and joyful about so many things!

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First, I am thankful today for my health! I rarely get sick, so yesterday when I got sick five times {that's polite code for "threw up"}, it was not cool at all. But today, I am almost back to feeling completely fine. And it makes me so grateful that God has blessed me with really good health.

I am also feeling especially thankful for having friends who love God. That might sound weird to some of you, but it is so refreshing and uplifting to me. It is not uncommon for me to have phone/text/email/Facebook/Twitter conversations that revolve around Christ, on a daily basis, with one or more of my friends. The fact that we can discuss godly things without any pretense or awkwardness is priceless to me!

I am extremely thankful for my church,, and the opportunities and relationships it has provided for me. As I mentioned, I was sick yesterday, so I had to miss Switch last night. Switch is the youth ministry at our church. I volunteer every Wednesday night, and it is always one of the highlights of my week. Having to miss last night was the worst thing about being sick. Also, this past Monday night, I had the opportunity to serve with The Spero Project. It was an awesome experience, one which will become a monthly thing for me; and I promise to blog about it!

Of course, I couldn't post about being thankful without mentioning my amazing family! This past Sunday, we all gathered at my parents' house for a combined birthday celebration for several of us. Any time spent with my family is sweet and precious to me! I am especially in awe of my adorable nephews and beautiful niece, as I watch them grow and mature.

So, there's my heart today, at this moment. Looking forward to meeting with my wonderful LifeGroup tonight! Excited about a shoot of a good friend I will be doing this Saturday. Loving my life, loving my God!


Isaiah 32:16 Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. 17 And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest. 19 Even if the forest should be destroyed and the city torn down, 20 the Lord will greatly bless his people. Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

central park snowman

The weather in Oklahoma this week has been really nice. I can't and won't complain a bit. However, today I am dreaming of a winter wonderland scene, such as I saw while in New York for New Year's.

This snowman wearing a green scarf in Central Park brings a smile to my heart.

{photo by me}

This week is flying by for me. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

tuesday toes

Last time I got a pedicure, I was in the holiday spirit. This time, it took me all of two seconds to zero in on this perfect dark shade of my favorite color, green! This makes me happy.


Happy Tuesday, friends! :)


Monday, January 24, 2011

my bff jen

This is my friend Jen. She and I have known each other for going on twenty-five years! In December, I was able to do a shoot of Jen and her adorable daughter Emma down in Dallas. I'll share photos of Emma and both of them together soon, but today I just wanted to show off my bff Jen.

Jen is one of those friends who I can tell anything. Absolutely anything. And never will she judge me.


Jen is strong. She is the living, breathing definition of "survivor". She has gone through more crazy stuff than pretty much anyone I know, and yet she has weathered it all and come through with her sense of humor intact, still loving and living life.


Jen is not afraid to ask the hard questions. She thinks things through deeply before forming opinions or convictions. I admire her ability to question and yet still believe.


Obviously, Jen is beautiful! {Quick, what actress does she look like?? :)} Whenever I am anywhere with Jen, it seems like people are always telling her how beautiful she is. :) I love her hair and eye color combo! So pretty!


Actually, Jen is not really just one of my best friends. She is family. Our hearts are bonded in a way that is usually reserved for siblings.


Love you, Jen!!!


ps Get this: I found those pretty amazing leather boots for Jen at Goodwill for $6.99!!! :) Also, I know Jen got her scarf and skirt at the thrift store, too! Yay for thrifty best friends! ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

sometimes i rock tennis shoes

Anyone who knows me would probably describe me as a "heels girl" when it comes to my footwear of choice. But lately, I have been craving the instant feeling of coolnes that comes with sporting a fresh pair of kicks. And since I am ever in the pursuit of that elusive label of "being cool", I figured some sweet tennis shoe outfits might do the trick. And yes, I do usually plan my outfits around my shoes. You don't?

My too-cool-for-school friend Cassie got me this awesome pair for my birthday. Love 'em! Thanks, Cass!

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I especially enjoy the fade from dark to light purple.

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{sweater dress and leggings - Ross; belt - Rue 21}

This rad yellow pair I've had in my closet for months and months. I think I've worn them once, or maybe twice. Got 'em at Ross.

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{shoes - Ross; black skinnies {actually they're jeggings, i just hate calling them that} - by Elle at Kohls; plaid shirt - Tommy Hilfiger from Goodwill :)}

Have a fun weekend, friends. Be cool. ;)


***In case you can't tell, these are all phone pix, so don't judge color and quality too harshly, 'kay? :)***

Thursday, January 20, 2011

snow days {yay!} and wrinkles {boo!}

This morning, I was thrilled to discover that schools were closed for a snow day, or actually an ice day, here in Oklahoma. I called work and my kind boss told me to see how it was around noon and then decide if I wanted to come in late. Yay. I promptly went back to sleep for a couple more hours.

When I went out to start my car and let it thaw, this is what the ground looked like:


Are you northerners laughing?

But, there was still some ice on my little ol' car.



Anyway, I survived the Great Ice Storm of 2011 {sarcasm} and headed in to work. :) But I did love the extra sleep!

In completely unrelated news...I turned thirty less than one month ago, and suddenly I have wrinkles developing on my forehead?!? What's up with that???



Boo! :(


I noticed that I am sporting some sexy under-eye circles, too, in that first photo. I was sporting them in the second photo as well, but I photoshopped them out. I was too lazy to go back and fix 'em in the other one. haha.

Dumb wrinkles.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

you rang?

Not that there is a fiancé, or even a boyfriend, on the horizon for me; but after seeing this post on A Cup of Jo this morning, engagement rings are on my mind. I used to tell everyone and anyone that I wanted the hugest, splashiest diamond ring ever when I got engaged...something about how a guy should spend more on The Ring than he did on his car, signifying the perceived value of his relationship, blah blah blah. And it's not that I don't think that at all now, but over the past few years, my thoughts on engagement rings have changed some. I've never seen Blood Diamond, but I am aware that there are scandalous and awful things having to do with the diamond trade. And my overall style and taste has changed and developed to where I appreciate and desire more unique clothing, accessories, or whatever. So I guess it's only natural that my ideas about what I want for an engagement ring would also change.

So, I ran a quick search on etsy {I mostly looked at emerald and jade rings, because I love the color green and think either one would make a cool engagement ring} and pulled these in about five minutes. They range from the ridiculous to quite reasonably priced.

First there's this detailed sterling silver and emerald ring, which might just be a tad extravagant in the pricing...


Then you have this pretty thing: the most typical engagement-type ring of the ones I chose, except with an emerald instead of the usual diamond center stone.


I especially love this vintage ring. I love the idea of getting a ring that has been around for a long while.


Probably my favorite of the ones I saw today is this uniquely beautiful jade ring. Even though there's a lot of heavy gold going on in the design, I would gladly sport it on my ring finger! :)


I had never heard of this stone before, but I thought this ring was oh-so-charming. And I love the thought that no one else would have a ring like it.


So, there you go. A round up of potential engagement rings from a girl who doesn't even have a boyfriend! How's that for random -- and perhaps just a tiny bit wistful. ;)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

the process of inspiration

This past Saturday, I did a portrait session for my friend Brandie that I just loved!!! I absolutely adored the entire process. The shoot was done in my house, utilizing window light from the double french doors in our dining room, and a gray paper background that I have owned forever.

I would like to explain a little about what inspires me. See, Brandie is a huge fan of the show Gossip Girl. She and my friend Jen both convinced me that I needed some Chuck and Blair, and Serena and Dan or Serena and Nate or Serena and whoever {but mostly Chuck and Blair ;)}, and some Upper East Side Fashion {yes, with a capital F} in my life. It didn't take me long to become completely hooked. I started last year and went through all the seasons on disc, and now I am anxiously awaiting the return of new episodes! :)

When I saw the episode with Serena wearing this look for her mother's wedding, I just loved it...


And in another episode, when Serena attended The White Party at The Hamptons, her hairstyle was simply stunning...


I suppose I filed those looks away somewhere in the creative recesses of my brain. But it wasn't until I came across a vintage yellow dress with a cream lace overlay at a thrift store, that I became consciously inspired. I scooped up the dress, knowing full well that it would never fit me. Instead, I knew I would use it for a shoot. And I hung it on the door fame of my closet. It hung there quietly for months, silently challenging me to come up with a subject and theme for a shoot worthy of it's uniqueness.

I'm not sure exactly when it came to me, but one day, it all just fell into place. See, I happen to know that my beautiful blond friend Brandie has a ridiculous girl-crush on Serena, and from somewhere in my brain, up bubbled the images from Gossip Girl that I had filed away months ago.

So, I did a Google image search and started a folder of actual inspiration photos. Next, I had to make sure the tiny-waisted vintage dress would fit Brandie. So, I wrapped a strand of ribbon around the waist, cut it to length, and made Brandie "try it on" one night at LifeGroup. :) It fit. Whew.

Here's one of my very favorite shots we came up with on Saturday.

{I made the lace "headpiece" - just wide lace and a needle and thread. She's just holding it here, but it could easily be bobby-pinned into the hair. Oh, and Brnadie made her black bead necklace.}

Now, I had also saved a few images of Blake's/Serena's "everyday" hair...


And when Brandie showed up at my house for the shoot Saturday, she brought a few casual outfit options. So we also did a casual Serena look.


Honestly, I was completely thrilled with the entire shoot! I will probably do another post sometime featuring more images from it. These were just two of my initial favorites. But seriously, I am like a kid in a candy store when I am executing a shoot that has been stewing in my mind.

One last note about drawing inspiration from whatever random source.....When I am inspired by a look or even another photo shoot that I see {all photographers are!}, I never try to replicate it exactly. Instead, I use it to get my creative juices flowing, and then go from there.

Anyway, just thought it might be fun to share a little bit about my creative process, as opposed to just showing pretty pictures. Hope you all didn't find this post to be too boring. :)


Monday, January 17, 2011

sometimes i am creative

So, last week I went over to my beautiful friend Cassie's house to hang out and to put this together for her daughter Ari's room...


{The top "Love You" thingy is a decoration I purchased at Hobby Lobby. :) Also from Hobby Lobby are the two little pink beaded hearts. The tissue puffs are from ihaveribbon on etsy and the paper lanterns are from etsy or ebay. The purple butterflies were already in Ari's room, we just added them to this. The pink scolly flower on the wall was previously there as well. Also used: purple sequin ribbon, sheer pink ribbon, red furry wired ribbon, and red ribbon with white polka dots.}

Cassie's daughter Ari just turned 7 in December, and this was my belated birthday present to her. She had been maybe just a little envious of this "mobile" I made last year to go above her baby sister Kayla's crib.

{Here's Cassie and her husband Daniel, when baby Kayla was still in her belly. :) -photo by me}

I was inspired by a favorite Oklahoman and blogger of mine, Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore. Go spend some time on her site -- you will be delighted with her charming home and adorable family!

Anyway, I was really happy with how both of the girls' little projects of mine turned out! Sometimes I am creative, and then I look at what I created and I think, "I made that." And I smile. :)


Friday, January 14, 2011

cupcakes on my mind

This is my friend Brandie. She looks a bit like Sandra Bullock and a bit like Britney Spears, according to many people we meet whenever I am out with her. :)


She also makes cupcakes that look as delightful as they taste.



Yep, these are cupcakes. So pretty!!! She made these for me for my Switch girls a couple of months ago. Aren't they amazing?!? {If you are interested in ordering a cupcake bouquet for anyone, let me know and I'll get you her contact info. They would make a perfect and unique Valentine's Day gift. :)}

Happy weekend, friends.


the poor girl's guide to eating in The City

Well, food is on my mind this morning, as it is many mornings. haha. So, I thought I'd share the cheap-yet-fun-and-delicious food and drinks we consumed while in NYC.

For our first meal of the trip, we ended up at an amazingly yummy little pizza place, Mariella's, on 3rd Ave.

Jen and I both chose this veggie-loaded pizza.


Whitney and Katherine looked extra-cute eating their slices. :)


A couple hours later, we finally got into Serendipity III, and enjoyed some amazing desserts. Here's Jen and I perusing the incredible menu.



Even later that night, my throat was starting to feel pretty raw and sore, so I ordered a Hot Toddy at our hotel bar. It was my first time to ever try that drink, and boy was it strong! Whew! I kind of shudder now just thinking about it. But i swear to you that it helped my throat so much! :)


After downing the hot toddy, Jen and I set out to see more of the city, and we each got an insanely scrumptious gyro from a vendor outside of Grand Central. I would pretty much go back to New York just to get another gyro like that! yummm!


The next day, I got a pretzel from a street vendor before joining the massive crowd of people waiting in Times Square for the NYE celebration.


And Whitney grabbed a hotdog!


Because people were gathering so early and Times Square was quickly filling up, Katherine and Brandie settled for McDonalds instead of the sushi we had all wanted to get for lunch that day. The funniest part was that they each bought an extra burger, since they knew we would be out there for hours and hours, and they ate one later as a snack. hahaha


By the next morning, my voice was completely gone, and my sore throat was in full effect, so Katherine and I opted for Jamba Juice over Starbucks. There, we indulged in a healthy wheat grass shot. :)



At lunchtime, we were in Chinatown, so we decided to pick up food from one of the little restaurants there. And we figured that we might as well choose one that had all sorts of animals hanging in the windows, right?




I was strangely fascinated by it all.


Stella Artois seemed to be the unofficial drink of the trip. :) Here, Whitney, Jen, Katherine and I all enjoyed a drink in our room before heading back out on the town on January 1st.


Katherine also wanted to experience the joys of eating a hotdog from a street vendor.



And finally, later on that night, we ended up at Benito II in Little Italy, where we were delighted by the delectable food and enamored with the charming and extra-attentive staff. :)




This guy even gave me a shoulder massage, since it was {a day after} my birthday! ;)


We ended the night by enjoying divine cupcakes that we had picked up earlier at Magnolia Bakery. Delish!!!




And now, I just want to eat all sorts of unhealthy foods. :) But I can't and I won't. I'm glad I got that out of my system in New York. Because everyone knows that food you eat while on vacation doesn't really count, or make you gain weight! ;)