Emily Elizabeth Jewelry Giveaway

I’m excited to announce a new giveaway! Win one of Emily Elizabeth Jewelry‘s 14k yellow Bouquet Bobby Pin Gift Sets! Valuing at $60, the pins are gold plated and the gold plated leaf/flower charms are around 1″ each. Gorgeous! I bought this Heart and Arrow Lariat for my sister-in-law this year for Christmas and I own a few pieces from EEJ as well. Such amazing quality and so incredibly unique.

In order to enter the giveaway, please head over and LIKE Emily Elizabeth Jewelry’s Facebook page. Then comment here on this post after you’ve liked the page with why YOU should win the set. I will pick a random winner on Monday, January 16th!

Good luck!

MEET: Emmy Beach

MEET Emmy [aka the Goody Two Shoes] from Columbus, Ohio. She’s a DJ who loves music, making playlists, and found a way to combine her love of unique music with her skills in broadcasting. Enjoy the interview and playlist!

Why and when did you start DJing? I started DJing in 2006. I studied broadcasting at Otterbein University, where I had my own radio show for four years called “Emmy Becomes Eclectic.” Last year, I decided to turn my love of music into a DJ business. I’ve always enjoyed making playlists of my favorite songs and sharing them with as many people as possible. I like getting people excited about new bands that they may not have heard otherwise and, most of all, I like to get them dancing.

What types of events do you DJ? Weddings, house parties, dinners… really any event that would be made better by great music.

What kind of equipment do you use? How has it changed over time? I use a LaCie Rugged hard drive, which works great if you travel a lot with your music gear, especially if it has the potential of getting dropped or even stepped on. The LaCie Rugged brand is meant to protect your music even if it’s been through the gauntlet. I used to use a big, bulky Buffalo brand hard drive, which was really fragile and unreliable. I’m glad I made the switch.

The laptop I use is an Apple MacBook Pro. I have Ultrasone headphones, which give you the feeling that you’re hearing your music performed live. I also have a mixing board, a Yamaha MG. It’s lightweight and also travels well. I use 2 Mackie speakers, which are smaller, but pack a big sound.

If I were to hire you to DJ a party, what kind of planning process would that entail? If you were to hire me, I’d first find out your favorite music. I would then create a playlist based on that and the type of event; if it was a house party, I would select more upbeat tracks to keep the party lively. If you hired me to DJ a wine tasting, I’d select songs more downbeat and “cool.”

Currently what are your top 5 favorite songs at the moment?

  1. St. Vincent- “The Party”
  2. Best Coast- “When I’m With You”
  3. Lana Del Rey- “Videogames”
  4. The Kinks- “Strangers”
  5. Al Green- “Let’s Stay Together”

To hear some of Emmy’s playlists, you can here on Spotify or on her website!

Photos by The Rogue Magnolia

Film Portraiture: Colin and Lisa

This past weekend I was able to photograph Colin and Lisa in their beautiful home. My goal is to offer film portrait sessions as often as my schedule allows. Now I just need to get the word out! I shot with my Minolta SRT-201 and my 28mm/50mm lenses. Kodak Ektar 100 film (which I need to restock).

If you want to see more, you can check them out on Flickr.

Early Evening

During the winter months, I usually don’t get home until it’s dark. The other day, I left work early and came home while the sun was still setting. The prettiest light was streaming through our kitchen and the entire apartment seemed to have a cozy feeling. I can’t wait for when I can work from home and experience it daily.

Photos taken on my Minolta SRT-201 | 50 mm lens | Kodak Ektar 100 film

Film vs DSLR vs iPhone

I’ve recently stumbled across a few posts on blogs and photography sites that compare photos taken on an iPhone & a DSLR or a few posts that compare film and digital. I thought it would be fun to do my own comparison post! Here are the details:

  • I used my iPhone 4S, Canon EOS Rebel XS with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, and my Minolta SRT-201 with the 50mm lens.
  • I took each photo from the same spot. The only shots that may vary are my iPhone shots because I wasn’t really paying attention to how far away I was holding my arms while taking the photo.
  • I set my Canon DSLR to 100 ISO since I was shooting Kodak Ektar 100 on my Minolta.
  • As for the settings on the Canon and the Minolta, I shot on shutter priority.
  • I did not edit any of the photos.
  • Lastly, keep in mind that I am by no means a professional. At all. I just wanted to show how each camera is different and distinct.

I think comparing these photos really highlights a few things for me. First of all, I LOVE shooting film. All of the photos that I shot on my Minolta turned out exactly as I’d hoped. I never edit shots that I get developed but I often over-edit photos that I take on my DSLR and my iPhone. It’s so easy in Photoshop to add a depth of field, alter the colors, and mask what’s there. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing — but I don’t usually like the photos out of my DSLR or iPhone just as they are.

Thoughts? Do you have a favorite image or set?

Philly

CITY GUIDE: Philadelphia

Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Swabreen Bakr of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

A lot of what Philadelphians enjoy revolves around the sports teams, food and drinking. The food and craft beer scene along with a rapidly expanding craft coffee scene has garnered our city a slew of national accolades so I’ve highlighted some personal favorites. These are spots I’ve been to many a time; the quality, selection and service are always top notch. I’ve also featured a new destination in our city, the Race St. Pier along with some great places to shop.

A great area to grab food is Midtown Village; it spans about two to four blocks east, west, north and south around 13th and Sansom street in Center City. Pop into any one of the restaurants there, you can’t really go wrong. The cuisine ranges from Mediterranean to Mexican to Japanese.

Coffee Culture

What coffee is in Philadelphia right now compared to what it was just a year and a half ago is remarkably different. A lot of small coffee houses opened up shop in the Fall of 2010 and the Winter of 2011, and completely changed the way some of us drink coffee. They introduced us to roasters like PT’s Coffee, which ships many award winning coffees from around the world to our fair city and they also gave us a taste of Stumptown and Counter Culture. We were introduced to different brewing methods for preparing fresh individual cups of coffee; like the Chemex at Elixr, the pour-over beehive station at Bodhi and the clever dripper at Spruce St.

I recommend checking out Shot Tower Coffee, Bodhi Coffee, Spruce St. Espresso and Elixr Coffee. They all have something slightly different to offer product-wise and coffee prep-wise but what you’ll consistently get is the commitment to providing excellent and freshly brewed coffee to each customer.

Craft beers and Cocktails

Our craft beer scene has been growing for a while, in fact we’re pretty spoiled when it comes to beer in this city. Pretty much every bar worth its salt has to have a solid selection of beer in order to survive and be taken seriously. We have award winning local breweries here like Iron Hill, Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Dock Street Brewing Co., Flying Fish, and Victory Brewing among others. Try some of the best beers around at Monk’s, Devil’s Den, McGillins Old Ale House, Varga Bar, Triumph Brewing, and Eulogy. I wouldn’t advise asking for a Miller Lite, Bud or Coors in most of these places though, the bartender will not take to it kindly (even if they have it). You can also grab some delicious casual food at the aforementioned places.

Our cocktail scene was not comparable to other cities until the nationally acclaimed The Franklin Bar came along with its enticing speakeasy vibe. After this bar re-introduced cocktail mixing as an art form to be honed; a lot of people took notice, and it really changed how the city viewed and consumed cocktails. There are some great places where you can go to get a great cocktail along with a great selection of domestic, local and import beers. Check out: Farmer’s Cabinet for a great selection of European craft beer and amazing cocktails; they have two bars one for beers and one for liquor. Tapestry is another place with a huge selection of domestics and imports and a nicely priced cocktail list and very affordable food. Percy St. BBQ specializes in canned beer which has largely been freed from the stigma it had of tasting metallic. Percy’s features many award winning craft canned beers which are well worth trying while you eat some of their amazing Texas-style barbecue.

For cocktails exclusively check out Ranstead Room (with Mexican small plates as a food option), SouthWark (DO have dinner and cocktails here) and of course The Franklin Bar (no food options at the moment).

Shopping

As well respected and lauded as we are for our food and drink scene, one area where we still have to catch up in is fashion. However we do have wonderful independent boutiques where you can purchase some very unique items from local designers, as well as fashionable brands like Pamela Love, The Hill-Side, A.P.C., Pendelton, among others

I recommend checking out the boutiques on N. 3rd St. in Old City. Lost + Found, Franklin Square, Sugarcube, Art in the Age, Third St. Habit, Vagabond, and the gorgeous men’s vintage shop Briar Vintage. They all run up and down this street. If you get hungry, try something delicious from Wedge + Fig, then go down N. 2nd street and check out some of the galleries and /reward/ boutique for a nice European selection of clothing and accessories. The galleries in this area are always theming with activity and free booze during the first friday of every month!

Race St. Pier

From the same architects who gave NYC the High Line, last summer we got the beautiful Race St. Pier. It’s in walking distance from the N. 3rd shopping district. City officials are trying to get residents to take advantage of our waterfront areas a bit more with projects like this and the Schuylkill Banks located on the western part of the city. Both places are nice to just take a break and relax in the sun when the weather permits. I suspect the Race St. Pier might become a sun bathing destination for those who don’t have cars to get away to the shore. It’s also a bit romantic at sunset.

Swabreen Bakr is a writer and photographer for the Philadelphia lifestyle and music blog Phrequency.com. Keep up to date with daily photos and events from Philadelphia on her blog iPhotoPhilly.com.

Featured image by Vlastula.

January Reading List

My 2012 reading goals are simple. Read three books every month. I know, you’re thinking, “Jeez, Allie. Don’t get TOO crazy.” A lot of my friends have set bigger reading goals (like read 100 books in a year). My goal adds up to about 36 books in 2012. For me, that’s a challenge. I work 30-40 hours outside of my normal work week freelancing and so by the time I crawl into bed at 1am, my eyes want nothing to do with any straining or reading.

I also feel that blogging about certain goals holds me accountable. Sometimes my family, friends or readers will ask me about a certain post or perhaps ask my opinion about a book or product. At the beginning of every month, I’ll post my monthly reads and maybe even get some future recommendations from you all!

What’s on your 2012 reading list? Any fun or crazy goals?

Hello, 2012!

I welcomed 2012 alongside my family and friends (and our favorite dogs). I even got to spend a few hours with my best friend, her husband and adorable baby. He is, my far, my most favorite baby ever. EVER. I’m excited for a new year. This year Adam and I will finally be debt-free AND we’re planning a couple vacations. I couldn’t be more excited. I don’t necessarily make “New Year’s Resolutions,” but goals do motivate me. Every year on my birthday, I make a list of things I want to do. Did you make any resolutions for 2012?

On New Year’s Day I caught wind of a January Photo-A-Day challenge on Instagram (using the hashtag: #janphotoaday). You KNOW how much I love a photo challenge…so I joined.

Obviously I only have two photos so far but today I will be snapping a photo of something that I adore with my iPhone. Also, in case you didn’t know (I had to google it)…letterboxing is the practice of transferring film shot in a widescreen aspect ratio to standard-width video formats while preserving the film’s original aspect ratio. The resulting videographic image has mattes (black bars) above and below it; these mattes are part of the image. I will be interested to see how many people are confused or how we’ll all actually pull it off. There must be an app for that. If you wish to follow along, join Instagram and catch up! I’ll be tweeting out links my photos but I won’t be posting much here on my blog. And in case you were wondering, yes I will still be hosting a camera phone photo challenge in February!

Coming up this week on Show + Tell: the long awaited DSLR vs Analog vs iPhone comparison post, a Philly city guide, and my January reading list.

Top 2011 Posts on Show + Tell

It always surprises me which posts on my blog get visited the most! Here are the top 10 posts from 2011!

1. 30 DAY DRAWING CHALLENGE

2. OH SNAP! NOVEMBER PHOTO CHALLENGE

3. #30DAYPHOTO : DAY 29

4. THE BURNING HOUSE

5. #30DAYPHOTO : DAY 28

6. 30 DAY PHOTO CHALLENGE

7. LIKE I ALWAYS SAY…

8. FREE FONTS, PLEASE!

9. HAVE LESS. DO MORE, BE MORE.

10. #30DAYPHOTO : DAY 1

Thanks for visiting, reading and commenting over here on Show + Tell during the 2011 year! I’ll be back to blogging on January 3rd! Happy New Year!

A Look Back at 2011

2011 was a fantastic year with a lot of success, fun trips, and the ability to spend time with friends and family. Adam and I are so blessed with everything that has happened personally, financially and professionally this past year. Below are some of my favorites from 2011. It was fun to look back at my post from last year about 2010 and see how life evolves and changes. I’m excited to see what 2012 holds.

So, what better way to celebrate the new year than to dance? My friend Benji created this awesome playlist on Rdio. Click here to listen. ENJOY and Happy New Year! Check back tomorrow for a list of my top 11 posts of 2011!

*All photos taken by me (on my Canon DSLR or iPhone) with the exception of the photo of Adam and I (taken by my friend Jess)