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?