Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wedding stuff: Video preview

Last weekend, our wedding videographer emailed me with a "teaser" for our wedding video! I loved it so much, I teared up in the middle of tailgating. (Go Bucks!) It was honestly that good. So I thought I'd share it with you all, too!

Special thanks to Spell Bender Media for putting it together! I can't wait to see the long cut :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Budgeting Bloggers: September

It's a short one this month; just one item purchased (and yet I still managed to go overbudget). I had a $50 Zappos gift card to burn after returning the defective winter boots from last year. So for this year, I decided to go all-out and invest in some quality rain boots that could double as winter boots, thanks to the addition of a yet-to-be-purchased pair of boot liners.


They were $160 + tax on Zappos, (get them here), but I paid $120 out of pocket with my gift card. So, $20 over budget for this month, but I'm not complaining.

Afraid that's all I have for might be Sunday, but Cam is exhausted from a mile-and-a-half walk yesterday + a full afternoon romping with her friends at doggie daycare, so I'm going to take advantage of her snoozing to do some transcribing, laundry and groceries. The fun never ends, I tell ya ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Henterly lately

Heyyyy, everybody! Yes, I am still here. Turns out that I, having owned cats most of my life but no dogs, severely underestimated just how dependent a new puppy is. As in, I thought I'd be able to do things around the house like clean and blog and freelance and redecorate, when I was home alone. Guess who has two thumbs and was way, way wrong!

Fortunately, I think we're finally getting to a point where I can start catching up with life again. But the last six weeks haven't been all puppy cuddles! Here's a little of what I've been up to lately.


Lots of walks. ALL THE WALKS. Some days, I'm walking around my neighborhood four times a day. Cam has a lot of energy, so most of our walks are at least half a mile to a mile. I am really excited for her to get her leash manners together and start going on runs. I never thought I'd ever say this, but I miss running.


My secret weapon to getting work done is taking Cam on a 45-minute or hour-long walk, playing tug or fetch for 10 minutes, then watching as she collapses onto the couch in pure exhaustion. So what if there's a puppy nose on my laptop? I can squeeze in a solid hour or two after a hardcore workout for her.


We're just about halfway through our wedding season for this year; as of today, we have four down (including our own) and three to go. This was, sadly, the only picture I managed to take when our friends Tim and Kellen got married earlier this month. It was our first night out since bringing Cam home and let's just say a good time was had by all.


I also started getting more involved in my Big Brothers, Big Sisters match this summer. The last two years, my Little and I have met during her lunch break on Fridays during the school year. At the end of this year, she asked if we could add an outside-the-school match (called a "community match") and I melted. I mean, could you say no to this? She isn't allowed to come to my house yet and Cam was feeling under the weather the last time we got together, so we went to the pet store in lieu of a trip to the dog park.


I've also been working a lot outside of work, in both freelance writing and photography. One recent assignment involved taking pictures at a fundraising event, for which I was compensated in lobster. So I got to take photos of local/national celebs like Jack Hanna and Dominique Reighard (as well as other Columbus-area notables) AND I got a free multi-course seafood feast. All the win.



And of course there's my portrait work, which has been picking up more than ever. I got to do two really fun family shoots recently; the B family (top photos) has become a regular client for me, and the D family (bottom photos) consists of the sweetest couple I know from college and their two-year-old son. I'm playing with a new photo editing style (which you might have noticed in my Washington, D.C. photos in the last post) and I'm so in love with it right now.


Also, my odometer rolled over, which is pretty nifty. I've never rolled one before and I gotta say, this moment was pretty much the highlight of that day for me.



Then, last weekend, my little sister Ellen got married! It was an unbelievably beautiful ceremony and an incredibly fun reception. The band even let Matt on stage to join them for a song, and I about fangirled myself to death. He fiddles around with his guitars in the hours fairly often, but hasn't really been on stage since high school, before I met him. So it was so awesome to see him play live! (If you couldn't tell by my face above.)


One of my biggest regrets from my own wedding reception is that I only made it into our photobooth once, so I made sure to grab the bride and all our sisters for a quick sesh. We're beautiful and classy, I know ;)


This is just a field. Ellen got married in our family's hometown in northern Ohio, west of Cleveland. The drive between Columbus and their town is mostly farm country; usually I find the drive boring but weather was PERFECT on the Sunday drive back and I thought all the fields were just breathtaking. Plus, I was reveling in the fact that I somehow skipped the hangover portion of the weekend (not for lack of trying Saturday night) and basically the whole world seemed amazing.

So that's it! Like I said, much has been happening and it shows no sign of slowing down, but with any luck I'll hit my stride soon and get used to this new normal that is my life :)

What have you all been up to lately?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Travels: Washington, D.C.

Welp, I definitely wanted to get this posted last week. But puppies make for terrible work buddies...this is how I edited most of my photos from my recent trip to D.C. with my friend Emily.


Aaaaand when I sat down to write this post tonight, this is what happened:


I swear this dog does more than just sleep. She just has a little cold right now and has been a bit more sleepy than usual. Fortunately, the vet doesn't think it's kennel cough. But anyway.

So I had been to D.C. once before, when I was about 12 or 13 on a school trip. I was really excited to go back as an adult and actually appreciate it. I was also really excited to bust out my camera for a personal project again; it feels like ages since I've done one.


We started with brunch in Baltimore obviously. Actually, this is quite obvious to Emily and I — Woodberry Kitchen is well-worth the hour-ish drive from the District. Emily lives a good two hours from Baltimore and I usually fly in there on a Saturday morning just so we can get brunch. I had a watermelon mimosa, homemade rhubarb pop-tart and stirred eggs with crab meat, chives and maybe some kind of cheese? It was heavenly.


After brunch, we did some shopping at Tysons Corner, where we were staying, and that evening we hit up the Jefferson Memorial to catch the sunset.



Isn't Emily adorable?



I was stressing about getting shots without tourists in them, but Emily convinced me that they can be kind of nice, too. She was a photojournalism major and she takes the greatest "storytelling" photos. I forget sometimes that there's more to a picture than lines and color. But looking at the two photos above, I gotta say I like the one of the couple kissing as they walk out of the memorial.





That night we grabbed a late dinner and drinks at Comet Ping Pong. I didn't get pictures because it was super dark, but the atmosphere of the place was really cool. And there were actual ping pong tables in the back, which was equally cool. The next morning we went to brunch at Old Ebbitt Grill, which has been open since 1856. I had some awesome oysters — my favorite was the Caribou Island — and I definitely didn't may or may not have ordered a second plate of three. Brunch proper was eggs Benedict, featuring the most perfectly poached eggs I've ever had.


Then it was goofy tourist stuff time.




One thing I didn't notice about DC when I was a kid was the architecture; it's stunning. After some walking around and general touristing, we headed over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Again, I'd been as a kid but it was so much cooler to see as an adult. Or maybe I'm still just a kid at heart. (That's probably it.)




We went back to Tysons for dinner at Wasabi, a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant that I learned is entirely too dangerous for me. I mean, seriously. Any sushi you could want just rolling past you on the belt...I ate so much that Emily had to practically roll me back onto the plane home.

And that was my whirlwind weekend in the nation's capital! There was a ton more I would have liked to do, obviously, but I guess that means we'll just have to go back :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Budgeting Bloggers: August

Well, little Cam has been in our house for just over two weeks now and it's been...interesting, to say the least. I've never had a dog before, so I'm learning as much as she is and poor Matt is just waiting for us both to catch up.

ecap But I'm not here to gush about our puppy (I mean I totally am, but not today). Today's my monthly clothes budget recap, and it was a rough one. Mostly necessary, but still a little rough.


1. Journee pumps via Target. My sister, Ellen, is getting married this month and she wanted her bridesmaids to wear gray shoes. I didn't have anything suitable, so I bought these and a pair of flats. The flats won out for all-day wearability, but I decided to keep the pumps for work, where I sit at a desk most of the day. | $39.99 {exact, on sale!}

2. Odell ballet flat via Target. Enter the flats that won out! A near miss, too; they're not available anymore. | $14.99

3. Salomon Ellipse GTX hiking shoes via REI. Matt knew I've been looking for a good pair of trail shoes, so when he saw these after work at an REI Garage Sale, he called me right away. They had been returned because the previous owner didn't like how they squeaked (really?!) so I snagged them for a steal. | $24.90 {exact}

4. Forever 21 sweatshirt. I was bad with this one. My friend Emily and I planned a girls' weekend in D.C. for the end of August (back before I realized the puppy of our dreams was coming to our house — pics soon!) and by the time it rolled around, I had maxed out my clothes budget and then some. Things were fine, until Emily realized she forgot to pack a cardigan for her outfit. We were staying at Tysons Corner, a huge mall, so we popped in to find her something to wear. And I may have accidentally walked out of Forever 21 with this, the comfiest sweatshirt ever. I tried to tell myself that a cozy around-the-house sweatshirt was on my list anyway so it's okay, but it only kind of worked. | $10.90 {exact}

5. H&M skinny jeans. I bought a few pairs a while back from Forever 21, but the fit is not great on them and honestly? They're just not comfortable. These fit the bill much better. | $19.99 {exact}

6. & 7. H&M t-shirts and 8. Old Navy t-shirt. My basic white tee mysteriously disappeared, so I snagged these two H&M v-necks on sale for $5 each. I also picked up the old faithful, a scoop-neck white tee from Old Navy. | $5, $5 and $7.50 {exact H&M, exact Old Navy}

not pictured: H&M three-pair earring set. I swore I'd stop buying cheap earrings that turn my ears colors, but these were too cute. (I can't find a picture online and I already gave a pair to Emily, so no pic.) The two I kept are a pair of small rose gold bars and a pair of thinner, longer silver bars. Another wardrobe hole I've been meaning to fill! | $5.99

Total damage (with tax): $141.10. Ouch.

How did you do on your clothes budget this month?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Saw hello to our little friend!

So before Matt and I got married, I really wanted a dog. I begged and begged, and even though Matt wanted one too, he knew me better than I knew myself and said we should wait until after the wedding. (In retrospect, it was the best idea every because STRESS.)

Anyway, pretty much as soon as our plane touched down post-honeymoon, I resumed begging. It was important to both of us though not to just get A Dog, but to wait for The Right Dog. And late last week, I found her.

I was browsing Petfinder, as you do, and I came across a litter of German shepherd/pit bull mixes all named for apples. Four days later, a member of the Miami Valley Pit Crew was dropping off Fuji, now known as Cam, at our house. Everyone, meet Cam :)


These are all phone shots, so the quality isn't great. She's only nine weeks old and obviously still loves to chew on everything — puppies learn with their mouths — so I'm not quite ready to risk exposing a lens to her tiny teeth.


Cam loves laps and I'm super excited for when she's a giant, 65-pound lap dog. She's just the sweetest little cuddler!


We named her for a piece of trad climbing gear, so Cam isn't short for anything. I've been giving her anti-nicknames though, calling her Camilla and Chamomile and Cameron and basically anything else that starts with the same letters.

I know everyone says this about their dog, but she's super smart, too. We've only had her a few days and she has "sit" pretty well-learned and is working on "leave it," too. And I think she's starting to bond with Matt and I, as well. This morning when I came downstairs, she went nuts — she hadn't seen me all night and was just so excited!

Spazzy hasn't been super excited about the new addition to our house, but she's done better than we expected. She's pretty defensive, but she's not attacking outright. (When we've tried to bring home a kitten before, she goes crazy and seems determined to destroy the poor things.) She'll even sit in the same room with us now, though she gets pretty uncomfortable and hissy if Cam gets too hyper or whiny. I even got a chance to take our first "family photo" (oh god, I'm one of those people, someone slap me) last night, with everyone curled up on or around the couch:

Basically the only time I've ever thought a selfie stick might be appropriate.


Told you she was a cuddler! I put my face next to hers on the (rolled up) carpet and she immediately flopped onto my neck, heaved a sigh, and went right to sleep. I might have died a little bit.

So that's been our world since Sunday! Matt had yesterday and today off, so she hasn't really been home alone yet. Tomorrow we both work, though we have arrangements so she can go outside in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon. I'm a little nervous — she cries like crazy when we have to leave her alone to go in another room for a bit — but I know the only way she'll learn to be alone is with practice. Wish us all luck tomorrow!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Emma lately




t-shirt: The Limited
cardigan: Express via Discount Fashion Warehouse
jeans: Target
flats: Forever 21
necklace: Kate Spade, gifted
bracelet: Etsy
watch: Coach, secondhand

UGH. Has it really been two whole weeks since my last post? Insane. (These photos are from June. Insaner.) I've been busy writing, and then recovering from, one of the most challenging, research-heavy stories in my freelance career. It was rewarding, but man, did it have me exhausted.

That story comes out in October; meanwhile, if you're local, you can see my most recently-published story in the August issue of Columbus Monthly. It's a feature on Dublin City Schools that is way, way less boring than it sounds ;)

Ok, ok — shameless self-promotion over.

What else is new? I have two, potentially three, photo shoots lined up for next month, and another I just finished, so that's pretty cool. I've started using the money I earn on shoots to save for some gear that might let me take my "side hustle," as Hayley calls it, semi-pro. First up on the list is a body upgrade, probably to this, since I won't be able to afford full-frame anytime soon; another fast prime lens, because my 35mm f/1.8 is nice, but doesn't give me the bookeh I want in full-body portraits; and a nice all-in-one zoom lens, probably this or this. If I keep getting steady work like this, I might be able to make all the upgrades before my next birthday!

Other new and exciting news: Matt and I are getting a puppy! I've been trolling and the local shelter sites basically since we got back from the honeymoon, because that's what newlyweds do, right? Get a dog? Well, I finally found the most beautiful German shepherd/pit bull mix that has basically all of the qualities we want in a dog earlier this week. I contacted the shelter with very low expectations; puppies that cute don't tend to hang around long. But to our surprise (and delight!), the shelter called us the very next day. Things moved really quickly after that, and as long as everything goes well with her spay today, the little furball comes home with us on Sunday. The only downside to this, of course, being that we won't get to really play with her for the first week or so. Don't worry; there will be pictures!

I've also been getting more involved in my Big Brothers, Big Sisters match lately. For the past two years, I've met with my Little at her school, during her lunch period on Fridays. At the end of last school year, she asked if we could also become a community match, which is the more typical program you think of when you hear BBBS. We just started doing our out-of-school meetups last month, and it's been really cool getting to know her outside of her academic setting.

So yeah, that's where I've been! Just lazing around, doing not much of anything as usual, haha. So. Anyone out there ever had a puppy before? (I haven't.) Other than peeing and pooing everywhere and chewing on everything, what can I expect?