Thursday, May 31, 2012

our mornings

Our mornings look like

coffee spills and coffee steam and coffee cups on the coffee table,
sleepy eyes and early mists, 
shower races, wet hair, 
scraping the plastic yogurt carton for the last of it,
topping your breakfast with last summer's berries.

Our mornings sound like

"hurry up!" and, "where's my toothbrush?"
"you took it all!" and, "grab the cat!"
"don't forget, the faucet's broken--
never mind. I'll clean it up."

Our mornings are 
nothing special.
But, they are
our mornings. 

What are your's?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

anticipating the unwind

As summer gently edges spring out the door, the call to "unwind" whispers through the balmy breezes that caress my open window. Lessons are still piled high on my desk, but just beyond them is Pineapple Frozen Greek Yogurt dripping on a silver spoon, wildflowers blooming in the yellow fields, and the crisp exquisiteness of Kinfolk magazine (vielen dank, Carlotta!)

 Now if only my pencil would work faster; if only my eyes would stay on the page and wander not to the window; if only the call to unwind would wait until unwinding is truly a possibility. The summer ahead holds so many endless possibilities and loveliness, if only I could let it in. 

Nevertheless, this coming week and month promise to be resplendent in themselves. Here's my little list of happiness. 


Weddings >> next week a sweet friend of mine is tying the knot, and I can't wait.  
Photography >> I was asked to second-shoot a wedding later this month. Eeep!
Bare feet >> mild temperatures mean no more shoes. 
Airborne >> we got a trampoline, and I'm addicted to flight-by-bounce.
Garden-grown >> our seeds are sown, our soil is tilled. Fresh lettuce is on the way!
To read >> my bookshelf is stocked and ready for love. 
To run >> my last cross country season is nearly here. Time to train. 

Happy Tuesday, friends. Here's to 'anticipating the unwind!' What's on your list? 


ps- summer design? you like?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

sunlit portraits // finalists

Yesyesyes. I'm late again at announcing photo challenge finalists. And a month late at that. I decided to skip May's photo challenge entirely, just because of extreme busyness and all that bueno stuff, but keep a look-out for the upcoming June challenge, right on schedule.

As usual, I had an tough time narrowing it down to five finalists for April's challenge: "Sunlit Portraits." I saw so much delicious lighting, amazing captures, priceless faces--but in the end, my favorites were...

by Lauren. Oh, goodness, I love this sweet face and that milky beautiful sunlight, complete with sun flares. 

by Emily Grace. This is a self-portrait--which I think is ridiculously amazing in itself--and then that hazy lighting + sun spotting is spectacular! What gorgeous scenery, too. 

by Mary Katherine. Oh goodness, what a sweet and dreamy shot. I love the natural framing of the branches, the dress, the smile, the lighting...lovely. 

by Savannah. I keep coming back to this photo--I love the glamour of the black and white, her back lit hair, her expression...gorgeous. 

by Abi. This. Lighting. ...Beautiful. What gorgeous streaking + back lighting. 

So which was your favorite? Vote for it on the sidebar poll--you have until next Monday, and we'll announce a winner then! Thank you all for participating in April's challenge and sharing your talent with me. Every single photo entered was lovely! 


Friday, May 25, 2012

beautiful places || down the lane

Our house is perched atop a little grassy hill that’s yellow and mown in the summer and clovered and green in the spring. From an upstairs window you can see a majestic Mount Hood rising from behind the trees and the highway and the train tracks, bordered by horizon clouds. Around us are the scattered homes and churches, close yet distanced, that make our little country town of Warren.  

Down the lane is the little white church where my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother walked down the aisle, each in their own space of history. The short road that goes past it is quiet, lined with a few small homes and rustic barns. Cows dot open fields between houses, and red-winged black birds always sit chattering upon the telephone poles that line the road. 

In the summer, the kids are out shrieking in the sprinklers or swinging on tire swings beneath the age-old oak trees which have been here for a hundred years. These old trees know Warren thoroughly; they've been climbed by children in suspenders and children in Nike baseball caps, they have swung wooden seats, war-patched tires, and brand-new ropes. 

It's a beautiful place, Warren is. The neighborhood can’t quite be called a neighborhood, and the town can’t quite be called a town, but we love it how it is--the quiet roads and the wildflowers blooming along them, the tractors lumbering slowly along and stopping traffic, the tumble-down sheds and the garden mailboxes. 

It's all a part of who we are as a community. 

..Warren is not ideal, it is not utterly perfect; it is not "left behind," but it's also never going to catch up. Warren is simply the place no one has ever heard of, the place that you couldn't find on a map if you scoured it inch-by-inch--and it's the place I am proud to call “home.”

What is your "beautiful place?"


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

copper river bags review // + strap giveaway winner

Have you ever been in love with a certain bag? Like, this certain bag is so perfect, so stylish, so comfy, so simply lovely in every way that you can safely say you are "in love?"

And double luck for you if that perfect bag happens to also double as a camera bag. Sigh.

This month I received such a bag from The Copper River Bag Company to review. This company specializes in handcrafted leather bags, specially created one by one in beautiful California. They make camera bags, laptop bags, messenger bags, and all that good stuff. And let me tell you: they are truly one-of-a-kind.

I received the 14" Voyager Camera Bag, and it is a beauty. It is made of perfectly crinkly soft tan leather, is water-resistant, and also doubles as a messenger bag/school bag/any other kind of bag because its pads are only inserts.

The strap is comfy no matter how much I am carrying, and I have plenty of room for extra lenses should I accumulate them. It is super stylish and oh-so-rugged--I get compliments on it every time I bring it out, and all I do is say, "look up 'Copper River Bags'!"

The bags are a bit on the expensive side (mine racks in at $160), but if you are searching for something that doesn't make you look like a granny, that will last a lifetime, and that is a well-made, durable, authentic, stylish camera + messenger bag (all in one!), then I think it might be well worth the investment. And it smells deliciously of leather. Just sayin'.

Oh, and just some more awesome points for this company: they included a Bible verse with my bag. :) How sweet + cool is that?!

Thank you, Copper River Co. for providing this product to review! All thoughts + photos are mine. 

---'s about time I announced the winner of the Imo Camera Strap giveaway, dontcha think?

Congratulations, Anna Olivia

 ...I'll e-mail ya asap. Enjoy your beautiful new strap! 


Guys, I am sorry I've been so "off the ball" with so many things. I have been more than busy trying to keep up with schoolwork as summer draws nearer (I mean, I really want to finish before July, here! *squelch face*), amazing photography opportunities for me (which I will update y'all on as soon as I get the chance), and an AP English test that left my brain fried and my hand not wanting to write another word (think three huge essays on the most boring subject imaginable). 

But. I hope to be "back" in full action (with a gagillion photos to share) by later this week. So thank you for hanging in there. 

Much hugs to mah friends! And a sneak-peek of some photo stuff I did the other day with the lovely Kiara. I am officially in love with chairs as props. The end.


Friday, May 18, 2012


This lovely lady is Jessica, a friend of mine whom I was honored to shoot some senior pictures with this week! Not only is she amazingly photogenic, but she has perfect hair, too.  No joke. 

Our shoot was just forty-five minutes, and the sun was still a little bright, but we got tons of great shots (and had a horrible time deciding which ones to keep and which ones to delete..I'm the type of photographer who snaps dozens of the same thing just so I won't miss one unique expression), and are planning another more "urban" shoot in the near future. So keep a look-out for that! :)

ps - the giveaway winner and photo challenge finalists will be announced in the next post! sorry about the delays.. :/

pps - i have gotten a lot of questions this way, so i should inform you that: i am still using my stock 18-55 lens for all photos. however, i ordered a 35-mm which will be here monday! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

a little ramble from me, via video.

So, yes, I did it. A Vlog, if you will. I have been planning to do one of these for several months, now, but have been too lazy + had too slow of internet to act upon it. Now, that has changed (at least, the internet part..), so--here I am! 

Please excuse the shaky filming, rambling, and other bad vlogging skills which I have yet to master. What can I say? It's pretty much just me. Plus a little more awkwardness and talk than usual. 

Enjoy! I hope to do a Vlog at least bi-monthly, so if you have any specific questions you would like me to answer, send them my way and I'll answer. 


Friday, May 11, 2012

real life, real blogging // jess

{Hey there! I'm guest posting for Lucia while she's holidaying it up. I'm Jess from over at Yours Truly. So, thanks for putting up with me! Three cheers for how amazing Lucia is?}

Real life. Real blogging.

This has been on my mind lately. In the blogging world, we all have a tendency to make life look glamorous and easy and beautiful. And, at times, it is. But, at other times, life is not. Life, quite a lot of the time, is embarrassing, awkward, hard and just...well, not pretty.

I'm not going to make this post utterly depressing and I-hate-my-life-and-I'll-die-any-minute-now. Don't get me wrong; I love my life and I am happy, satisfied and content in it. So don't feel as though you're gonna be crying at the end. I mean, you can if you want to, of course. But that's up to you. On second thoughts, maybe not.
I'm going to speak for myself, but please tell me if you agree and if sometimes, we bloggers, deceive ourselves and others.

I don't wake up every morning, smiling at the sunshine and skipping into the kitchen and sitting in the dewy sunlight that streams into the kitchen while I make my morning coffee.
That's a nice thought, but really? Sometimes I wake up too late, stumble out of bed, groan at my messy hair and imperfections and then go into the kitchen to make myself a normal cup of tea and to sit down on the couch when the sky is grey and rainy outside.

When I throw my hair into a messy bun, wear hardly any make-up, chuck on some track-pants and a t-shirt, it doesn't look fashionable and I don't look amazing. It isn't glamorous, but it is life and it's okay.

I don't have money to throw around, I live in a house that is being renovated and doesn't look fantastic all the time, I have to do dishes and sometimes my bedroom is a mess. Okay, so sometimes my bedroom is a sea of things that I didn't even know I possessed.
I don't paint and draw and sew and do all things. Coz I'm not superwoman. At least, I don't think I am - but then again, I do make brownies...
My hair sometimes looks shocking all day (and then, at night, just before I go to bed, my hair looks amazing. does that happen to anyone else?) and sometimes I look and feel tired.

But guess what guys? That is totally okay! We all have lives that are wonderful at times, and very unglamorous at other times. Let's not be those I-live-a-perfect-life-and-nothing-goes-wrong-even-my-bad-days-are-good-days people. Let's really be real. And. Embarrassing life stories are the funniest. Who ever laughed with a perfect person about a perfect day? No one, that's who.

Tell me about some of your "real" life! I would really, really, really like to know. 
Oh, and I know that some other bloggers tackled this yesterday, but I drafted this post/took these pictures days ago, so I promise that I'm not copying. Pinky-promise. And we all know that pinky-promises are like Thor's hammer. The end.

heyheyhey. I'm JessI'm ridiculous. and way too talkative. and crazy loyal to my country.
I take photos, I write stories, I sing songs, I play music. and I love Jesus. so much. I am a New Zealander living in England. New Zealand is lovely. England is....cold.

I write about real life, lovely life, beautiful life, awkward life (there's lots of that, I can tell you) and amazing people.
I blog over at Yours Truly, so pop over why dontcha and say hullo! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the 2012 jar // abby

I have this jar.  I call it my happy 2012 jar.  I write down everything that makes me happy in the year 2012 and put in this jar.  sometimes it's big events, like driving for the first time, sometimes it's the smaller things that makes life the best ever - like the first BBQ outside, or the sunshine being out.
I think it's important to document what makes you happy or filled with joy - especially the little things.  the little things that we soon find out aren't so little. 


 I'm Abby.  14 year old homeschooled girl.  I sing in the shower.  I'm really short - 5' 1".  I love to capture simplicity in my writing and photography.  Going to Hogwarts is at the top of my to-do list, and so is meeting Flynn Rider. Happy endings are the best.  I love to make people smile.  Jesus is my Savior.  Come visit me sometime.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

sweet strawberry ice cream // lauren

Warm days call for cold ice cream.

Lately, I've gotten rather discouraged by looking at the labels of store bought ice cream.  Most of it is laden with artificial flavors and unhealthy corn syrup!  What ever happened to good ol' fashion, freshly churned ice cream?  Enough was enough.  I decided to make my own.

Sweet Strawberry Ice Cream

ice cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound frozen strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

whipped cream 
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a blender, combine all ingredients for the ice cream.  Blend until smooth.  [note: a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec will yield the best results.]  The finished consistency may be too soft, so you might need to stick your ice cream in the freezer for a few hours, stirring occasionally until it firms up.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream and powdered sugar on high until stiff peaks form.  Top your ice cream liberally with whipped cream and enjoy!

Thanks for letting me contribute, Lucia!  :)

Lauren is a thankful daughter, saved by the matchless grace of her Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed to have been educated at home, she now delights in serving her family as she strives to grow in godliness and continues learning to be a keeper at home. Working in her family’s homeschool book business provides her with plenty of opportunities for growth and sanctification. Lauren is an avid lover of homemaking, photography, the family economy, and good coffee. You can find her over at A Corner Pillar, where she blogs about life, homemaking, and the goodness of the Lord.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

imo camera strap review + giveaway

Every good photographer needs a camera strap. And if you ask me, every awesome photographer needs a cute camera strap. ;) I mean, a strap is simply a convenience 'must,' but a pretty strap is a...well, let's just say it's a bonus.  

I was sorely lacking in the 'cute' strap department until I received this lovely strap to review from iMo Shop:

..I am extremely pleased with it; it dresses up my camera nicely but subtly. It arrived promptly, the shop owners were extremely friendly and also offered to supply one my readers with a strap of their choice!  

{shop} {facebook

Here are only a few of the adorable straps iMo offers in their shop:

Red Village Camera Strap suits for DSLR / SLR with Quick Release Buckles

Black & White Camera Strap for DSLR / SLR Quick Release

Purple Damask Camera Strap for DSLR / SLR Quick Release

So, do you wanna win a cute strap for your camera? I know I would! ;) Read the instructions carefully, then enter away!

Leave this entry in a *separate* comment, apart from the extra entries!

Visit the iMo Shop and find your favorite item...then, leave me the link so I can check it out!

|| EXTRA ||

Like iMo on Facebook, and tell them Lucia from Lucia, Etc. sent ya!
(2 entries)
Follow this blog via GFC
(5 entries)
Share this giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, or blog post
(5 entries)
Like "Lucia, Etc." on facebook
(2 entries)

Good luck! Check back here by May 16th for a winner. :)  I'll be out of town this week, so look for some guest posters, too! 

ps- in case any of you are wondering, raquel is the winner of our last photo challenge, with cassandra coming in at a close second! thank you all for participating; april finalists will be announced soon-ish! raquel, an e-mail concerning your prize will be sent your way asap. :)
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