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Breaking Bread

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Making friends as an adult can be weird. When I first moved to Columbus in 2009, I found all my friends via Twitter. Well, who am I kidding? This is still true. Just add Instagram to the list. I spent a lot of time in 2009 partaking in a lot of small talk. It was brutal.

Six years later, I now know some pretty incredible women all over the world. But it’s still hard. I’ll admit: running a business with your husband can be isolating. We’re together almost 24/7 and when we aren’t, I just need some time to myself. I have to be really intentional with my time with other women (who are also busy, married, dating, running businesses, side hustlin’ and more).

I’ve found that collaborating on passion projects with like-minded women has been an amazing experience. I co-wrote an ebook with my friend Claire in Australia, I hosted blogging workshops with my friend Erika, I so love and enjoy all our female clients, I bond over #ladyboss stuff with Jolie and just last weekend I spent the day with Marti of All Together Now and Kelley of Wonderfilled Mag.

For this season of my life, I’ll take it. But I’m excited to see how relationships (in general) shift as we get better at this work/life balance.

PS: Thanks to you all for being my internet friends!

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Self-Portrait

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I love portraiture. I love documenting people the way they see themselves (or help them understand how beautiful they really are). I had a client the other day say, “I want to look at a photo and see what I see when I look in a mirror.” It’s a challenge. We’ve all been there. “Is that what I look like?”

Since I’m an introvert, I actually really love shooting portraits. I can sit and talk one-on-one with the camera resting in my hand. I can say things that encourage and I’m able to manipulate the light and the body to make people look their best. I’m not a pro by any means, but it all intrigues me so.

It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I became really content in how I look in photographs. Not in a “Oh my gosh look how amazing I look” sort of way. But more in a “That is me. I love myself and how I look. I’ve experienced life and I’m proud of that person.”

Throughout this year, I hope to form a unique experience for other women. I want them to see a photo of themselves and say, “Yes that’s me!” Not because we’re tricking anyone or the camera but because we’re confident in who we are. It will be a relaxing experience. One filled with coffee/tea, music and deep conversation. I’m also excited to include printed portraits in these packages, too.

If you’re local (or within a few hours of Columbus), email me. Maybe we can book a session.

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Skincare Routine

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SPOILER ALERT: I don’t use all natural/organic stuff on my skin. I’m vowing to change it, however, so while this is my “current skincare” routine…it will be different by fall. I’ll keep you posted as I change things out.

As women, we tend to get down on ourselves but after photographing women for years…there always seems to be that thing we’re proud of. Sometimes it’s perky boobs or the nice booty or teeth that look like expensive, well-fitting veneers. My thing? My skin! Without being obnoxious, I will admit that I never really had acne or tons of zits, but I did do my fair share of tanning. GOOD LORD WHY DID I TAN SO MUCH?

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I stopped. No more tanning beds during the winter. No more laying out until I sweat off my soul. It’s made a world of difference. But like I mentioned before, the stuff I put on my face wouldn’t pass the Think Dirty test. I’m getting there. Here’s what I do use while still experiencing clear skin:

  1. Yes To Grapefruit wipes (rated half n’ half on Think Dirty): Every night I take off my makeup with a Yes To facial wipe. It’s how I get off 90% of my mascara, foundation and lip color. It smells great and the wipes are slightly textured so you’re sort of exfoliating.
  2. Purity Made Simple facial cleanser (rated dirty on Think Dirty): I honestly don’t want to be using this cleanser, but I found it under the sink at my parents’ house and didn’t want to go out and buy anything new. I find that when I switch cleansers, I do get an occasional patch of bumps or one single zit and then I go back because I hate the hassle. Dumb reason, I know.
  3. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster (rated dirty on Think Dirty): This stuff is awesome and I really do feel like I get a good glow when I use it. Plus it smells like oranges. It has fragrance, however, and that can act as a hormone disrupter. Dumb.
  4. Korres Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream (rated dirty on Think Dirty): Well this was rated horribly but guess what? It’s empty so no worries. I really loved the scent but again…it’s the fragrance.
  5. Korres Black Pine Night Cream (rated dirty on Think Dirty): This is the only product that I don’t consistently use nightly. I just forget. I never really see a difference in the slight lines under my eyes when I do use it so I’m not shedding a tear.
  6. Green Pasture Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Lived Oil Blend: I started taking this once Liz mentioned that it’s like super food for your skin. SIGN ME UP. Honestly. maybe it’s why, no matter how much poison I rub on my face, it still glows. Who knows but I’ll never stop taking it.
  7. Not pictured: I use Aquaphor Lip Repair everrrrry day (rated well on Think Dirty). I have like 8 tubes at all times and it saves me during the winter when my lips get chapped. Also, the one with SPF is NOT rated well so I stick to this one. I also exfoliate with all-natural exfoliant from a friend in the shower and use Lubriderm Advanced Therapy body lotion (rated dirty on Think Dirty) once I dry off. If I do want a subtle tan, I’ll use St. Tropez mousse (rated dirty on Think Dirty).

Products I plan to try this spring/summer (I will switch things out one at a time): Aiona Alive E-Citrus Cleanser, Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Coconut Lotion, Bare Escentuals Faux Tan Body Sunless Tanner. I’ll keep you posted!

 

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Long Live Letterpress

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You guys, letterpress is amazing. And don’t act like you don’t know what letterpress is! I see you pinning that stuff all up on your boards! When I first moved here to Columbus, I didn’t know anyone (besides Adam). Finding fun things to do with new friends can be challenging but I vividly remember the day I discovered Igloo Letterpress. They offer open printing hours to the public, paid classes and the ability to host parties directly in their space. You can read my post about that experience (4 years ago!) here.

Fast forward a couple years…The Wonder Jam had formed and we were looking for the perfect client gift during the holidays. We reached out to Beth, Igloo’s shopkeeper, and set up our session. We arrived on snowy winter afternoon and were able to take over the shop while printing our client gifts.

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The best part about a place like Igloo? They’re here for usWe’re able to dream up that amazing print project, business card design or wedding invitation and make it happen. These printing presses aren’t abundant and they’re expensive. We need printers like Igloo to exist, grow and thrive.

And so guess what? Igloo Letterpress needs our help! Fund them on Kickstarter so they can purchase a new press, build their new space + keep giving back to the community.

Every dollar helps but if you’re feeling extra spendy (and want to attend a 4-hour, intense photography class with me), you can purchase my specific reward! We’ll be learning all about how to shoot your products well for your online store/Etsy shop/blog.

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I’m not receiving any compensation or freebies for posting this. I just truly believe in supporting an artform like letterpress. So if you drool ever so slightly on Pinterest when you see stuff like this…flick over $10 (or $205 for my class) and help keep gems like this in our community.

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Cold? Or allergies? Neither, please.

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It snowed on Monday. It will be in the 30’s this weekend. Can’t it just be spring already? I supposed I should be grateful because my spring allergies haven’t kicked it yet. Speaking of allergies, I’m going to give acupuncture a try this year! I won’t do shots and I eat relatively clean but I still feel miserable as soon as it warms up around here. I’ve been keeping tabs on allergy levels the past two weeks and was testing “moderate” in the tree category. Since I’ve felt pretty great, I’m thinking it’s grass and ragweed. I know I should just get tested, but I avoid the doctor and most western medicine (even painkillers).

We plan to solve all my problems by moving within the next 3 years. Probably near the ocean. But where? Please comment if you’ve relocated + felt allergy relief!! Maybe we can be neighbors.

 

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Favorite Makeup Highlighters

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen that I had been considering beauty vlogging (video blogging combined into one word). I tried it out and actually hated it. I joked on my latest Instagram post that Desh wasn’t too thrilled while I was in front of the camera (he thought I was talking to an invisible person) but it’s true. I just didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy listening to myself for an hour or editing the video and hearing myself talk over and over and over and over and over…

So instead, I blog! And today I’m sharing my favorite makeup highlighters. You know, the stuff that makes your face glow. I’ve rounded up my top 6 products below:

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  1. L’Oreal Magic Lumi – It’s a really affordable primer that gives you that nice pearly glow but I actually use it to lighten my foundation in the winter. It’s lasted awhile and you can’t beat that price.
  2. BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal – I also mix this into my foundation (or will just rub the smallest drop onto the high points of my face). It’s great and I really love this brand. It’s PRICEY, though. That’s the travel size and it’s $19.
  3. Almay’s CC luminous primer – This has much more of a pink tone (which doesn’t really go well with my skin tone) but is a nice way to add a little bit of that nice glow when priming your face. It helps reduce redness (which I don’t have) so it would be perfect alone or with a full face of makeup.
  4. Revlon Photoready Skinlights (in Bare Lights) – This reminds me SO much of BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. It’s not the exact shade, but it’s a good dupe.
  5. Hourglass Ambient Light – This is a powder and so, so naturally gorgeous. It’s much more subtle but the perfect addition to even the most natural face of makeup. It’s expensive. But if you ever want to treat yourself, get it.
  6. Mary-Lou Manizer by the Balm – This is a much more intense powder, but it’s a good bold. I’m wearing it in the photo at the top. A little goes a long way (I have a sample size and haven’t even made a dent).

I only got into highlighters + stuff like that recently (within the last 6 months) and it’s been the best addition to my routine! Comment below if you have any that you love that you think I should try!

 

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An Apple A Day…

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For the past month, I’ve been craving fruit. You know when you go somewhere and they have a fruit bowl, but no one really ever eats it? I’ve been eating it. I’ll take a banana (after asking, of course) or snag an orange when a client brings snacks. And no, I’m not pregnant!!!!

Then last week I bought a spiralizer at William Sonoma (random, I know) and now I’m devouring zucchini like it’s my job. I’m excited to try every recipe from Ali’s website.

The weirdest part? Meat totally grosses me out since all of these cravings have kicked it. (Yes, I swear I’m not pregnant!) If I had to commit to being a vegetarian right now, I would. I was channel surfing the other night and they were cooking BEAR meat and I wanted to cry and throw up at the same time.

So, I’ll keep you posted on all of this. I was raised on meat so this is really throwing me off. But then again, I was raised on gluten-filled bread and I don’t eat that anymore!

What kind of diet guidelines/restrictions do you follow? Has your diet evolved? Do you get cravings or do your tastes shift?

 

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A Routine Refresher

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(pictured above: renting lights and laughed at the sign, photo shoot set up, Car2Go because our car has seen better days)

Life has been productive (that’s my new word instead of the word “busy”) and I’ve been trying to get a better grasp on separating my work and personal life. A lot of people who own businesses like to boast about the chaos or how they work 100+ hour weeks, but I’m not about that life. What I do for a living isn’t who I am. Sure, I love it. But my hand could get cut off tomorrow and I’d have to find a new career to occupy my days.

I’ve been setting limits with my meetings, turning down work and in turn…staying focused on our fabulous clients. Nothing crazy has changed, but we’re honestly at a point where we leave meetings with our clients feeling totally amazed at how talented and smart they really are.

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(picture above: homemade grain-free gyros, I wrote a piece for Darling magazine about being a slob + how I’m changing and the making of delicious chicken lettuce wraps)

Personally, I’m making a lot more changes. For the past three weeks, we got back into the cycle of eating out ALL THE TIME. I literally didn’t buy groceries from February 17 until last weekend. Or if I did…we didn’t use them. I felt wasteful, tired and bloated and so I decided that I would do another round of Whole30 mid-March. I started working out and it felt great to get back into the kitchen.

To be totally honest, food and diet wasn’t a struggle for me until the past few years. I have a tendency to get really, really focused on things. I don’t really half-ass anything at all (thanks to the advice of Ron Swanson) so when I do something like Whole30 (or when I went gluten-free), I do it 100%. I don’t waiver. I don’t cheat. I’m almost too good at following the rules. The issue lies in coming off of these detoxes or meal plans. I don’t count calories and I eat REAL food but I still struggle with that first meal with french fries and a sugary drink. Guilt washes over me and I worry that I’ll either get sick or gain weight.

Because of this, I either am all into the “real food” world or all about that takeout. I have a hard time balancing the two and when I get overwhelmed, self-care flies right out the window. So I decided to do a few things to love myself this month:

  1. I will NOT be doing Whole30. I eat organic, I know what foods make me feel tired, I love to cook at home and I love spending time with friends. Instead, I plan on taking an online course called Finally Free. It’s about intuitive eating (listening to your body and not calling any sorts of foods bad or “cheat-worthy”). It’s a self-paced course so I plan on spreading it out over 12 weeks.
  2. I’m working out again! I’m working through a strength/cardio circuit plan for the next four months (3 times a week) and will be supplementing the other days with this yoga challenge. I took my “before” photos and maybe someday I’ll have the guts to share.
  3. I’ve been scheduling a “spa day” for myself every weekend. It’s not literally at a spa or for a whole day but lately I’ve been taking my Friday or Sunday night to do a little self-care. It’s relaxing and honestly makes me feel confident when my legs are shaved well and my nails aren’t chipped.

How do you handle stress? Work/life balance? Self-care? I’d love to hear how you approach it all.

 

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Life-Changing Magic is Real

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Over a week ago, Adam and I went through and implemented the KonMari method. I read the book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) back in January and then caught Adam up to speed. Honestly, we planned on doing this for about a month before we actually dove in. We were gone for most of February and were aware of how much stuff we didn’t even need (or bring with us)! For those of you who don’t know, I’m going to share the main points of the method below. So if you treat non-fiction like fiction…stop reading.

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State of The Capsule

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At the end of the summer of 2013, I decided to do the whole “capsule wardrobe thing.” It was starting to become more mainstream, but nothing like it is now. I originally fell in love with the concept after I discovered Into Mind. I used her approach but customized it to my needs/mindset/brain. You can read my post about how I first simplified my wardrobe here.

I transitioned into the summer of 2014 without a plan but still kept my entire wardrobe under 20 items. I am a creature of outfit habit. I can wear the same thing every day and (if it makes me feel good) not care. When I look back on last summer, however, I can’t think of a single item that I really love(d). When we went to Vegas in September, I felt even more frustrated and realized that I lacked focus. I lacked so much focus that I ended up buying floral Birkenstock-style sandals because I literally didn’t have a sandal or summer shoe of any kind. I purchased a lot of trendy crap that leaves me (now) rolling my eyes. Hard.

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