This weekend, Katie and I made cupcakes. I've discovered I really love making cupcakes. They're bright and cheery. If you screw one up, the whole project isn't ruined. They're personal sizes so you can control your eating impulses. Or at least try to. And you can make so many different KINDS. I love them.

This batch was to welcome my parents home from their vacation. We made them at my dad's house though, and making them in a kitchen that is not your own is frustrating! I had to use different tools than I'm used to, but in the end we made it work. Not without spilling powdered sugar all down my jeans though!

Katie was the beater licker and the taste tester, and the one who cleaned up all the messes I made. I made quite a few. But it was fun, and we spent time laughing. I love laughing with my little sister.


Yes, I do have an unhealthy obsession with cupcakes.


Round two of hearts and parts! Hearts are things I love this Sunday, and parts are things I could part with.

1- Tanning. I love taking a nap in a tanning bed every other day. It’s relaxing and warm and it makes me nice and subtly tan. It’s amazing how a little bit of a tan can make me feel like I look so much better.
2- Spas. Jilane and I were going to go the spa this weekend but they wound up being booked. Very sad, because we were looking forward to the relaxation and massaging and being pampered. But, instead, we’re doing our own spa day. Foot soak, hand soak, face mask. And then practicing make up for her wedding. Happiness!
3- Songs For a New World. FANTASTIC musical. I love Jason Robert Brown. He does such a great job. They’re doing it on campus, but sadly it’s the weekend of Jilane and CJ’s wedding, so I’ll be a little busy. But it’s okay, because that’s something so good to be busy with!
4- Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Crème. My hands have been so incredibly dry this winter, no matter how much lotion I put on them. But this stuff works like a charm! I put it on every night before bed, and it smells amazing and makes my hands soft and smooth. It’s great for my knees and elbows when they get overly dry too. Love it!
5- Katie. My little sister. On Saturday we had a fairytale day, taking pictures all morning and making cupcakes all afternoon. I love every minute I get to spend with her and every story she tells me about her life.

1- Tanning. Skin cancer = bad. They try to tell you at the salon that it’s not really bad for you but I don’t think I believe them. Which means come Jamaica time I’ll be cancelling my membership. Sadness.
2- Broken toes = my aunt dropped a block of salt on her toe, and basically broke it from what I understand. It means she can’t drive, which vetoed our plans last weekend. More sadness.
3- Missing backs to earrings. That drives me nuts! I love my earrings and I don’t tend to lose them, just the backs, but that causes me to panic a bit and wonder when the day will come that I’ll lose the earring part of the earring.



I love the trees at my dad's house.



I love him. To pieces.



My flowers are dying. I have to throw them away. I have the hardest time throwing away flowers. I leave them until they look real bad, and then finally cave and throw them out. These still have intrigue to me though. They're pretty as they die.


On campus we have a building called Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. It's made of light colored brick with all white walls and ceilings. Almost all the rooms include large windows. The common area in that building is ceiling to floor windows, two stories high, that opens to a gorgeous garden area with a waterfall and lots of ivy and vines. And on the inside there's brick along the far wall and tile covering the floors.

It's built the way it is to be energy efficient. It was a goal of the campus to make that building when they built it to make it as energy efficient as possible, and they did a pretty good job.

The things that make it energy efficient also happen to make it a photographer's dream. There is natural light EVERYWHERE, and surfaces for it to bounce off of. It's beautiful and clean and I love it.

When I get to the point of owning my own studio, I'd really love to build an energy efficient one. That's important to me now in a way that it never would have been before I took my Energy and Society class last semester. But really, fossil fuels are going to run out. And before they do, they are going to become expensive. Sure, one energy efficient photography studio isn't going to make that much of a difference. But it's not going to hurt things either. And it's something I could be proud of, and there are things I could do with literally no extra cost. How amazing and simple is that?

I can't wait til I'm to the point where I can do those things in my life.



So, it's a winter wonderland out there right now. I always get annoyed when it first starts snowing because I'm ready for spring, but I inevitably calm down as I watch the snow fall. So beautiful.



I took my camera with me to go get the mail today.



I'm discovering I like clean product shots. Lots of white and bright. Makes the product stand out. And today I bought an iTunes gift card that I loved becacuse it's spring-like and pink. So, product shot of the gift card.



I love these girls! Great day of shopping and conversation and most importantly -- laughter.



This Sunday, these "hearts" are the things I'm currently in love with, and these "parts" are things I could happily part with any time now.

- signature jewelry. standard pieces that become a part of your identity, that are typically generally plain. I really love this Tiffany ring, super plain, just silver, goes with anything, casual to dressy, and is something I could wear all the time.
- red velvet cupcakes. I spent all afternoon yesterday making some pretty amazing cupcakes, and eating more than my fair share. Bringing them to church for drama practice today, hope everyone's hungry!
- crazy bookshelf. I love it! I emailed a picture of it to my stepdad and asked him if he could make me one. Haha. I love how original it is and want one like it in my house someday. In a bright bright living room.
- Ashley and Caroline. My two friends, roommates from sophomore year. We've been trying for months to get together and are finally having a date night today! Shopping in the mall and then out to eat at Chili's. Perfection, yes please.
- Matthew West's song, Only Grace. I signed up to sing in church again in March, and if I can find an accompainment track for it, this is the song I'll sing. It's about forgiveness, and how when we come to God, there's no guilt or shame -- just grace and love.

- all the Tiger Woods drama. I've heard enough now thank you, it's time for him to get out of the media and fix things with his family.
- the neon trend. Ehhhh, I don't think I'll ever look good in bright neon colors...in fact I think few people do. If your clothing is the color of a traffic sign, it's probably too bright.
- dirty dishes. LOTS of baking/cooking yesterday. I loved doing it, but oh boy does it create a lot of dishes. Cleaning up is not as fun as putting the ingredients together.


With all the time I spent in the kitchen today my picture of the day definitely had to be something to show that. Yummy red velvet cupcakes!


A few months ago my mom was on a quest for the perfect pair of jeans. She tried them on at every store imaginable, and keep being exasperated with her results. She wanted a pair that just really fit her body right. She finally decided to go to Buckle, jean capital of the world.

They were so helpful there, they figured out what her size would be right away and sent her off to try on a few options, and then continually brought her new ones to try on until she found a pair that she loved. She decided on buying a pair of Silver jeans, and left happy with her purchase.

I then went on a similar quest to find a pair of jeans that fit my body, which is entirely different than my mom's. Without knowing it, I wound up purchasing the exact same pair of jeans(obviously in a different size). What I love about them is that they're not size 4, 6, 8...they go by waist and length. So my mom and I were able to buy the same pair of jeans and have them fit OUR bodies just right. I love well crafted clothing.



Today I got to work early for breakfast before my shift and consequently wound up watching the end of Tiger's speech and some of the ESPN jabber afterwards. My coworkers and I were discussing it and I was amazed to find that many of them didn't think the fact that Tiger cheated was that big of a deal. One of them said that at least 75% of species don't mate for life, so why should we? Why is it expected that people should getting married and not cheat, why only have sex with one person for the rest of your life? We're animals, we can't help it and it's not a big deal, because so many people cheat. What's most disturbing is he's a married man.

True. Most species don't mate for life. But those are the species who eat their own feces, not the ones who make a promise in front of everyone who matters in their life and God to stay true to one person. We're called to a higher standard. We're given the power to make those choices -- we're given the ability to make PROMISES. And it's not something we're meant to take lightly.

I hate how the world places such a low value on marriage. One of my professors freshmen year said that marriage is nothing more than a business contract -- and she's also a married woman. That's not what marriage was created to be, that's not all marriage is supposed to be, and that's not how the marriages I see every day are.

Are there more marriages that are crumbling than growing stronger? Maybe. But it's a choice, on the part of both people in the marriage. A choice each day. And the people in the marriages that are victorious? Their choice every morning is to love the one they're with. To love them, to cherish them, and to be true to them.

That's a choice I think is so incredible to have the opportunity to make.


I want to be a better writer. I really, really do. I love reading blogs and seeing how different people write and string together words in different ways and how some are whimsical, painting a better-than-life picture, like how there's leaves stuck to your boots when you're walking in fall and instead of it being troublesome it's the perfect fall day, and how some are sarcastic and blunt and comical. Some make you want to fall into the words and some are harsh and annoying and some make you feel spunky and witty and some just make you feel smarter by reading it. I want to write in a way that makes people feel spunky and smart. And in a way that's honest. I love falling in love with the romantic, alluring wording, but that's not me. I'm much more blunt. I just really want to write well, in a way that's true to me.

Which means I should practice. I'll add that to my growing list of things to practice continually. Oh my.


I love barrettes in my hair. I found these as part of a little set at Forever 21, the best stylish yet super affordable store in the world.



For Christmas every year my grandma tends to get me an assortment of gift cards that serve me well as a college kid. There's usually one for a food place(Atlanta Bread Co., Fazoli's, Culver's), one for a bookstore, sometimes a coffee place. This year I got one for Stein's.

Have you ever been in that store?! I hadn't. It rocks. It's unique bits of decor and lots of things you can put together yourself. It's craftsy. I LOVE IT.
I wandered around the store for a while, finding all sorts of pieces that I loved and being delighted to find that none of them were very expensive. I would up getting a $2.50 print and a vase that I filled with fake $1.00 flowers. My total came out to $0.03 less than what my gift card was for.
Here's two pictures of the elements that I got, I don't like how they're all assorted together yet, so I didn't take a picture of it as a whole. Still deciding. So fun!


Lately, I love lace. I love how it's light and feminine and how it's slightly mysterious because there's a partially visible layer underneath.

In every issue of Allure they have a "Lust and Must" section...showing expensive and more affordable(though usually still out of my budget!) options. This month it was all about lace. I love it! Particularly the skirts. Though I like the "must" one better. A lot of times they're more my style.


So. At Jimmy John's, one of my jobs as the new girl is to do a particular task that everyone hates doing. It's called squeezing tuna. The tuna that we put on the subs is a mixture of tuna and a few other not-so-secret ingredients, but before it gets to that point the tuna has to be squeezed to get rid of all the excess water. Twice, every bit of tuna has to be squeezed.

Do you know what happens this time of year? Catholics eat fish. I spent half my shift yesterday squeezing tuna.



Meet Karisa. I waitress with her, in fact, she's the one who trained me. Karisa's going to have a baby girl. Our entire workplace is so excited to meet her!


Hazelnut lattes make every day better. As long as I have one before noon, otherwise the caffeine keeps me up past midnight. Apparently I have a pretty low tolerance.


I've been really wanting a one shoulder dress but haven't found any I really love. This one, however I think is fantastic. I love the three straps in the back!



My aunt got me these earrings for my birthday a few years ago. They're great because they're not simple studs but they're still really plain. I just might wear them today.



This weekend I went to watch my little sister compete at the State level for cheerleading. She's a petite girl, and I knew she was a flyer, one of the girls they throw into the air. I didn't know, however, that the first thing they did in their routine involved four guys throwing her as far into the air as they could. I think I stopped breathing. I didn't, however, stop taking pictures.


Today I'm taking maternity pictures of my friend from work. We're both so excited, and the light is perfect outside. Now I'm just hoping the snow calms down just enough so that it's pretty without being a frustration!


I love this stuff. It smells like pomegranate, moisturizes my lips, and gives them the perfect deep pink tint. All in one little tube. Happiness.



Since it's Valentine's Day, I figured the picture should be something pink. I then discovered that I don't really have anything pink in my house. Except perfume called so pink from GAP. Which I wore today, because it's a light, spring scent. And when I got home from church it started snowing. Come on Wisconsin! Time for spring!



This Valentine's Day I love:

my house.
there's just something about your home, and how it makes you feel when you're there.

fires in the woodstove.
especially ones I build.

Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Lost, Bones, and The Deep End.
these silly television addictions I have.

MAC makeup.
because I like playing with pretty bright colors. and I like the girls who work at the counter. and feeling pretty.

oh how I love it! something that makes my brain work hard because I'm passionate about it.

best friends make everything better.

ice cream, peanut butter, and cookie dough.
or any combination of the three.

working out.
because I love ice cream, peanut butter, and cookie dough. and because being healthy matters.

my jobs.
Townline, Jimmy John's, Adam LeSage Photography. all of them, for some reasons that are the same, and some that couldn't be more different.

my family.
one and all, I love them.

in the form of a caramel or hazelnut latte with the foam on top from the coffeehouse at school, which is also a place I love.

creating things. learning more every day. my camera and the power it has to make people feel happy and great about themselves.

kraft macaroni and cheese.
I think I will love it forever.
my church.

there's something about my church the same way there's something about my home. God is in a lot of churches, but my church feels like home.

clean laundry.
because then it means I don't have to do it.

long, hot baths.
nothing relaxes me more than a bath with candles and good music.

because really, how can I not?


Tonight, I made Elk Stew. All by myself. And I pretended like I was Rachael Ray when I was making it. Okay, not really. But I did pour all my ingredients into cute little pyrex bowls and took pictures before I put it all together. Makes me look like I'm a super good cook.