Sunday, November 28, 2010

Best birthday ever.

I turned 25 this year (an age I've been looking forward to). This birthday was definitely my best birthday ever. The birthday weekend began with a super fun birthday dinner on Friday night at SpeakEasy with some sweet friends, including my friend Katie who drove up from Atlanta. My actual birthday was on Saturday, and on Saturday morning Katie and I went to the ladies breakfast my church has weekly at Momma's Boy (and to which my friend Daynes came to!) and we went for a long walk on campus (where I got the tree pictures posted below). After she left I had some home time, and then got ready for the super awesome dinner Mary organized for me. I felt SO loved and blessed at this dinner, and had such a fun time!
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Side-story...I babysit a lot, and when I was babysitting the week before my birthday I asked the little girl (who is 6) what I should do for my birthday. She responded with "I don't really know what you should do when you turn that old." Me, "well, what do you think you'd do?" Her, "Oh, I know! You could get a limo and then paint your nails and stuff." Me, "I really don't think I want to do that. What else could I do?" Her, "You could have a SLUMBER Party!" Me, "Um...I'll think about that. Let's go play outside."

I ended up having two overnight guests the weekend of my birthday, so I guess that happened!


Fall in Georgia this year was gloriously filled with warm weather AND beautiful leaves.
I loved every minute of it.
And even though it JUST left, I'm missing it already.

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Fam photos with a toddler!

I did some family pictures for my friend Mollyanne. I really hadn't taken pictures with a toddler, so it was definitely a great learning experience. I had a lot of fun with them (both times; I went out once to get an idea of where I was shooting at and for the little one to get a little familiar with the camera) and learned a lot!
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Thanksgiving 2010

I love a morning when my first thought is, "I need to start cooking!" That is exactly what my first though was on the morn of Thanksgiving 2010. I was invited to have lunch with my kind friend's the Moore's, and to hang out with my friend Christie and her fam (along with a couple of other great invites. I'm very blessed). I braved Publix on Wednesday afternoon to get necessary ingredients for homemade stuffing. I had it made up in my mind that I was going to make stuffing, and that was what I was completely committed to. And, oh my. It. was. incredible. It is taking every ounce of my self-control to not go devour the left-overs cold (not even heated up because I don't have a microwave and it is that good cold).
I used a Real Simple recipe for my guidelines, but I made it my own. Some of the cast of players in this stuffing include a whole-grain baguette, half a white-wheat baguette, herbs de provence, chicken broth, mushrooms, carrots, parsley, and onions. Pictures are below of how it came together. I also roasted about 5 lbs of sweet potatoes, and proceeded to forget them at home. I'll be eating those all week. I roasted them in the oven, and added parmesan cheese to one batch, and slivered almonds to another.
The only snare in Thanksgiving food preparation was when I sliced off a chunk of my thumb when I was dicing up the sweet potatoes. I totally blame the sprained fingers...I didn't have full control of my hand! But roommate definitely heard a cacophony of not frequently used phrases coming from me after this happened. We went to Target and she started diligently looking for something in the kitchen area, and when I asked her what she was looking for she said she was looking for gloves to wear when you slice things so you wouldn't cut yourself. I don't know whether to feel touched or patronized.
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That is a sneak-peek of how my kitchen looks. A blog home-tour will be up soon! If I'm ever home in the afternoon to get good pictures...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Picture-less musings.

I'm sitting on the couch musing over a few things from the past week. I'm not a "muser." I often don't find myself absorbed in thought--it's just not in my strengths set. I'd rather be doing something, and rarely find myself without things to do. At the moment I am ignoring a rather large number of cookie trays and muffin pans to clean from this week's cooking exploits...something that will have it's own blog post when I am reunited with my camera. Yes, reunited. I left it at a Thanksgiving celebration and I've been without it for two days. When I called to inquire about it's location I believe I used the phrase, "I think I left my child, I mean camera, under the dessert table."

Back to some musings.

Roommate and I got the second wave of bills in for the past month and they were gloriously low. I mean, I may have giggled when I saw them. Accordingly, I am now committed to seeing just how low they can get. A snare in this is some biting cold weather that has blown in. One beautiful part of the condo is that there is an entire wall of windows--I. LOVE. THEM. It is one of my favorite features. However, said windows are a little (LOT) drafty. This morning when I was working on another blog I realized at one point I couldn't feel my fingers. Turning the heat on would be the practical solution to this, but would go against my new project. We'll see how roommate feels about it. Her room is upstairs and heat rises, so that's good. And when I bake the entire downstairs gets rather toasty, so I feel an easy solution to the cold living room is baking more. More tasty food, warmer sitting area...boom.

Trader Joes has opened up in Athens. A number of blog posts and facebook status updates were dedicated to this event, and I've been a number of times with consistent positive experiences. Today as I checked out the cashier kept complimenting me on how healthy my basket was--spinach, bananas, bag of apples, a tomato, and a honeycrisp apple. What he doesn't know is that I had to talk myself out of dark-chocolate covered candy jo-jos, a number of dark chocolate bars, and ice cream.

Honeycrisp apples. They are sitting strong in my current consistent food cravings (along with chocolate cheerios [thanks Nutan!], peppermint mochas in red starbucks cups [with no foam/fat/whip], and roasted sweet potatoes [only with a little olive oil, salt & pepper]). Per mentioned, I bought one at Trader Joes today and had it inhaled before I got back home. I'm already wishing that I had bought two.

Black Friday. I have a part time job at the Gap (hello, incredible discount), which means I got to work the infamous black Friday. I had a 6:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. shift, which means I got up to go to work at around 4:00...I was slightly delirious when I got home from work. Being overly ambitious I went to the gym after work to run. I made it ten minutes at a brisk walk before I was convinced I was going to die if I continued. But back to Black Friday. When I got to work there was a crowd outside the door, albeit a friendly crowd. Our promo was the entire store was 50% off EVERYTHING, so that garnered some attention.

I was placed in baby & kid land for the beginning of my shift (no regrets on not cashiering because I couldn't take off sensors with my sprained below for THAT story). I really regret not tallying the number of times I was asked "how much is this?" as a tag was shoved in my face. "Half-off," I'd reply. "Yes, but HOW MUCH?," the overly eager shopper would ask. "Half-off the lowest ticketed pri..."HOW MUCH?" Oh gosh. Divide by two, that's all.
One dear as she walked in barked (harsh term, but I'm being real here folks) "ya'll just don't have nothing on sale do ya?" To which I calmly replied with a smile "well, everything is on sale to half off it's price" then bee-lined to the back of the store to make sure none of our friends with sticky fingers were making off with already cheap onesies. Fortunately the shift went by fairly fast.

As I close out this post, it is necessary to share the story of why I currently have a rather painful sprained finger (and have all on my right side a ginormous [understatement] bruise on my thigh, bruised forearm and shoulder blade, achey hip, and slight amount of treadmill burn on my calf). Know that it is completely okay to laugh at this story. It is ridiculous.

I did give away the culprit...the treadmill. Last week (or maybe it was two weeks ago) a local gym was offering free boot camp classes. The only time that worked with my schedule was the 5:30 a.m. option. I went on a Wednesday morning and LOVED it, and committed to myself to check out the remaining free mornings. Thursday morning rolls around and I don't wake-up till 5:22, and don't get to the gym until 5:31. I HATE being late. Hate-hate-hate it. When I'm running late I get tunnel vision and can ignore circumstances and things around's bad. And yes, that was some foreshadowing...So I get to the gym at 5:31, toss my stuff down, and look for a machine that's empty to hop on to start my cardio. I see an empty treadmill and make for-it. Remember how I just said I get tunnel vision? Well, I didn't see anyone on the treadmill so I leapt onto it with both feet to get on to make it go. (I am cringing as I'm writing this because I'm reliving it. Yick.)

Funny thing though, it was already going. Full-freaking-speed. When I leapt on (again, with both feet) I got FLUNG off. Not cute little, "oh I stepped off" and had a graceful landing. I mean, FLUNG-off, landed sideways (hence all my injuries being on my right side), and insult for injury my hooded jacket tie (because I hadn't gotten to the point of getting it off yet) got stuck in the treadmill and was pulling me into it until I ripped it out.

Remember now, I'm at a 5:30 a.m. boot camp class. The people in this (full) class are INTENSE. It takes a special person to willing get up at 5:00 in the morning to exercise. And I was running late. All the cardio machines face a wall of mirrors. So my fall was to an audience, and even if they hadn't seen, they definitely would have heard the strangled-eeeek type noise that came from me. And the slap as I hit the floor.

I'm pretty confused as to why I'm on the floor (it's maybe 5:32 at this point) and a woman comes over, who tells me she had gotten off the treadmill (without stopping it) to grab something. Funny timing, eh? Anyways, I pull myself up and realize, "wow I hurt." I can feel the bruising beginning on my thigh, a little blood oozing on my calf (treadmill burn), and my hand feels like it's on fire. The woman asks "are you okay?" and I don't know how I responded. The instructor comes over and asks, "did you not see the machine on?" I took it as a mark of the Holy Spirit in me that I did not respond with the smart-a** response that came to mind an hour or so later, instead meekly replying, "no, I did not."

I'm still standing a little dazed and confused, the woman who's treadmill I just wiped out on is talking to me (I think...again, I was dazed) and another woman comes over and asks us (we're standing in front of the infamous treadmill), "are you going to use that?", I'm pretty sure I can't move right now. The instructor tells me to hop on a different machine. At this point the searing pain in my right hand and on my right side has sufficiently woken me up so I say, "I think I'll just be leaving, I don't feel up to moving right now." I grab my stuff and hobble out to my car. When I get to my car I immediately begin praying "Jesuspleasedon'tletmyfingersbebroken, Jesuspleasedon'tletmyfingersbebroken." I start pulling on them, moving the bone around, etc. and get pretty convinced nothing is broken.

It's around 5:40 at this point, and I didn't want to waste the waking-up time and knew I'd probably be getting sore, so I drove over to my gym and "exercised" there. I say "exercise" because I basically just hopped on the elliptical at a snails pace for 30 minutes and may have done something else before going home. I get to work, grab some tape from the first aid kid, and have had taped fingers since.

Enough musings. I have chores calling my name. I have some posts with pictures (including my birthday!) to go up soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Life IS a Treasure Hunt!

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Photos with the Klaymans!

I took photos of the Klayman's.
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So much fun.

Photo-shoot with NRC

Conversation between Nutan and I...
Me, "You know, I've really been wanting to shoot in dawn-light. Hey Nutan, how would you feel about waking up at 6:00 a.m., letting me do your hair & make-up, and taking off to do some pictures?"
Nutan, "Sure, sounds fun."

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Photo-shoot. Again.

Try-two of a photo shoot with Juli. The first time I was painfully clueless as to what I was doing, but Juli and her family were gracious enough to let me practice photos on them. By this time though, I had a a little bit more know-how. I had SO much fun shooting with her!

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I took Moore family pictures; they are incredible! I had so much fun with this awesome family. I got a ton of pictures of them, but this candid one is one of my absolute favorites.
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Happy Birthday and Happy Celebrating, Sarah K!


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Yogurt is one of my favorite foods. I am also incredibly yogurt picky. It's ridiculous. Store-brand or yoplait...noooo way. Greek is my absolute favorite. Or so I thought until I went on an Earth Fare yogurt run one day. You see, Earth Fare gives out these coupons once a week for an awesome free item. I went in one week and decided to get $5 in different yogurts...something I'd never do normally.

That Liberte stuff was incredible. Better than ice cream. As I was eating it I thought there had to be a catch. Yeah...check out that nutrition info. The Kangaroo-kind...great! My favorite is the Icelandic-kind, Siggis, but the picture is on my phone and not that great. I had also gotten a kind made with goats milk...

Moment of disgust.

Yes. Goats milk. My refrigerator broke one morning and destroyed all my dairy, and that had been the last one I was waiting to try. Maybe it was for the best...if it is as bad as I think it probably was, I may have never eaten yogurt again.


My first "couple" photo shoot. I met Erika when I was in her prayer small group while I was on Prayer Leadership at Wesley. Erika is hilarious...I love reading her blog!
I had SO much fun taking their pictures. I'm learning lots and lots, and they were such good sports. And they're ridiculously good-looking, so it was easy getting good pictures of them! I had a hard time choosing a picture for this post, because I don't know which one she's going to use for her Christmas cards...
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Women's Day Conference hosted by The Awakening in Helen, GA at a beach house.
I have a far different definition of beach, but the day (and place) was great!!
Touch choice for Susan...

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283--Global Block Party.
I took pictures at this event...something I love to do! These were a few of my favorites...

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I didn't take a picture of it, but I baked 4 too many cakes for this event.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Off the bandwagon and on again?

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I'm disappointed in myself. I really fell off the 365-project in a hard way. I haven't stopped taking photos..I look for them constantly. But things (and fun things at that) had to get cut out recently because of having too much going on, and daily pictures was one of them. Am I back on for the last weeks of the year? Maybe. Maybe not. Just stay tuned.

P.S. I'm in love with this picture because of the vividness of the colors.

Happy Birthday, Nutan!

This is Nutan.
November 13 was her birthday!

Nutan and I have been friends for a long time...a REALLY long time.
How long?
Almost 13 years. THIRTEEN.
One takes a lot of pictures in 13 years...this is a smattering of some from high school...there are loads more.
I had no idea where to begin in even writing this post about Nutan. We have a lot of memories together. High school is its own store-house there, and...
we travel together,
We took our first "road-trip" as juniors in HS....we went to Callaway Gardens. Seriously. The above picture was our first trip to Charleston together.
The picture above was from our most recent trip to celebrate our 23 birthday.
Do fun things...
That's Nutan's attempt at "cooking" (she added food coloring, and did a great job.), photos, eating, etc.

Gosh, this is a REALLY hard post to write, I mean, where do I start? She is sophisticated, incredibly smart and driven, and has an incredibly caring heart. Let's just leave it at she's awesome and I'm so lucky to have her as a friend!