Posts from — January 2011
Since I spend a great deal of time toting my camera around, I’m constantly on the hunt for opportunities to practice the essential skills of taking quality images. And while I initially felt intimidated when my beau explained the basic concepts (like how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed for a particular shot), I’ve lately become rather obsessed with spending my free time pouring through the local bookstore’s how-to photography section. Now that I have a full month of daily photography under my belt, I’m eager to improve my food and still shots while experimenting with more interesting and advanced techniques, like capturing movement, texture and nighttime environments. Stay tuned!
January 31, 2011 5 Comments
From the moment I placed Emily and Leo’s save-the-date magnet on my refrigerator, I paused to not only reflect on how well their creative style perfectly punctuates their fun personalities, but also admire the insatiable love these two exude for each other. Since first meeting the pair in 2008, it’s difficult not to immediately fall in love with Emily. I’ve never seen a photograph of her looking anything less than radiant and her stylish, free-spirited and artistic persona shines through in everything she touches (I dare you not to become completely addicted to her homemade jewelry collection). The most admirable quality of Leo? Besides pursuing his life’s passions (among many, gifted DJ, blogger, tech genius and photographer) with such enviable fervor, he possesses the humor and genuine ability to make everyone feel so welcome in his company, as if we’ve all been close friends since childhood. I’m thrilled to know this incredible duo and am assured that, for them, love like this comes but once in a lifetime.
January 30, 2011 4 Comments
While The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) fell grossly short of earning an Academy Award, the incredible scenery and fast-paced storyline kept me completely captivated me until the final credits. The movie is set in Thailand and the looks of the jaw-droppingly gorgeous beach scenes only further confirmed my dream of honeymooning in the exotic Far East (particularly navigating between Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia). Though I won’t be able to stamp my passport for a few more years, I’m relying on these beautiful photos to pull me through Chicago’s bitterly cold weather.
P.S. Click on the corresponding image to create wallpaper for your desktop. Enjoy!
January 29, 2011 5 Comments
When days are particularly hectic, it’s nice to be reminded of the reliable constants in life that always bring a smile to your face. Though our family’s Labradoodle puppy lives cozily with my parents, my mom is especially prudent in feeding me daily, detailed updates about Gracie’s snow-filled walks in the park, successful attempts at learning new tricks and penchant for attacking loose pieces of mail and destroying envelopes within seconds. This weekend, I’m looking forward to enjoying some of the other things that make me smile, like watching movies in bed, reading a few chapters in my latest book and creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards for family and friends. What constants bring you a bit of happiness?
January 28, 2011 5 Comments
After spending the week bundled up like a mummy, my eagerness to race home and curl up on my sofa was overwhelming. But when a friend called to say that she and her boyfriend had amicably decided to end their long-term relationship, I immediately took a rain check on my Thursday evening TV plans and promptly treated her to a martini at the Rhythm Room. Listening to her strength and positive outlook on the situation over a fun game of pool made tonight’s happy hour the perfect cold weather respite and served as a nice reminder that the comfortable choice is not always the most fulfilling.
January 27, 2011 5 Comments
Feeling the hint of a sore throat, I spent the entirety of my evening relaxing in my pajamas and fending off the onset of symptoms with plenty of cough drops, herbal tea and warm blankets. Wanting to enjoy an easy, low-maintenance meal, I opted for the comforting combination this roasted tomato basil soup and one of my all-time favorite movies, The Bridges of Madison County. Every so often, I love when a change of pace forces me to stay inside, burn candles in lieu of lights and (admittedly) cry my eyes out while watching the blossoming on-screen love affair between Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep.
January 26, 2011 4 Comments
| The finished product |
Throughout my career, I’ve made a habit of conveniently removing the bulletin board from my desk area since it was one office supply that was sufficiently ugly. This past week, however, I decided to rethink my cork board boycott and instead focus on making some artsy changes to glamorize my atmosphere at work. For under $20, I tracked down a bright and colorful fabric, complemented the colors with matching ribbon and chose festive scrapbooking cutouts to create fun thumb tacks. After just twenty minutes of crafting, my cubicle already felt infinitely more happy and less like a standard and bland office space.
| Begin with a standard 2×3′ cork board |
| Purchase your favorite fabric and matching ribbon |
| Neatly fold and tack fabric edges on the underside |
| Cross the ribbon to create a ‘X’ pattern |
| Affix festive cutouts to thumb tacks |
January 25, 2011 6 Comments
Mondays are never easy. They’re made a bit more palatable, though, when a trip to the mailbox before work is met with the awaited arrival of my all-time favorite magazine. As a faithful subscriber of Town & Country since college, I displayed zero self-restraint in tearing open the wrapping to unveil the special issue that details the art of celebrating matrimonial bliss. With several friends’ weddings popping up in July and August, the anticipation of summer and long weekends spent in California can’t arrive soon enough.
January 24, 2011 4 Comments
To the surprise (and dismay) of many, I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth. Ten times out of ten, I’ll gravitate toward a handful of salt and vinegar potato chips over a freshly baked pastry or piece of chocolate. But when my sister forwarded me this recipe for spiced cupcakes, I figured I’d attempt to turn my taste buds around by baking a dozen for today’s Bears/Packers playoff game. While the cupcakes themselves were delicious, I didn’t drizzle more than a teaspoon of icing on each (for some reason, the glaze wasn’t as fluffy as I anticipated). Despite my shortcomings on the frosting, they were a hit at the football party and devoured well before the third quarter.
January 23, 2011 6 Comments
| Lacing up my skates for the first time in years |
Though I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as an impromptu person, there’s something about the long, cold days of winter that encourage spontaneity in finding random activities that you’ve never tried before. Since today’s temperatures dipped well into the teens, I thought it might be fun to lace up my skates and try my hand at ice skating on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center. While I laughed at the fact that I was the only skater above the age of ten, I enjoyed snapping a few photos before spending far too much time browsing the souvenir shop.
| 1,000 feet above the ground |
| Sidewalk to sky |
January 22, 2011 6 Comments