Toy Cameras

Jun 28, 2012

I got a three new toy cameras (this is my small but growing toy collection). Diana F+, Holga 120N, & Split-Cam. They were ordered a while ago but things take their sweet sweet time shipping overseas. Before these came I only had instant toy cameras and I love those but I've wanted to play with film again. My first ever camera was film. I took photography in high school where we got to use the dark room and learn to develop our own photos. I miss taking pictures with a purpose, knowing I can't just delete the ones that don't turn out. I miss waiting for the film to be developed, anticipating the outcome of the pictures I took. The weather has been unseasonably cool so I'm still working on the rolls of film in these beauties but I'm already excited to see the results.
What is your favorite camera?

Remember How I Love Mail?

Jun 27, 2012

Because she loves me, my amazing pen pal Janey sent me presents in the mail this week. She wrote a cute little letter apologizing for not buying me a present when she was on vacation and instead making me one. She definitely doesn't need to apologize for that! Her handmade jewelry is so cute that I can never send her something equally as cute. It's just not possible. The bracelet says "Two Souls, One Heart" and she stamped a little A&S on the inside. So.cute. And aren't the earrings just adorable? Well lucky you, there's a chance to win a pair at the end of this post! 

This pic was taken by Jane @ Taingamala.
Jane says: This picture was taken 48 hours after I moved across an ocean with two suitcases to marry this amazing man. I was so incredibly happy, this was our first time exploring the island, going up to the North Shore, going to the beach, it was the perfect start to our life together.
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Jane says: I'm ambidextrous and have double jointed fingers. I write with my right had, but do just about everything else with my left (golf, eat, wave hello). And, because I'm double jointed my fingers curl up to the sky slightly when I point.
You can find Jane elsewhere too.

Because Jane loves you (of course not as much as she loves me) she's offering a pair of her Hawaiian Teal & Lace Button Earrings to one lucky reader! Enter through the nifty little gadget below.

DIY Instagram Art

Jun 26, 2012

I originally wrote this up for a guest post but I love the project so much I want to share it on my blog too. I'm the first to admit that I'm not big on DIY. I'm just not very good at it and if a project requires more than 4-5 items to complete it... well I give up. But this is a project EVEN I could do. And I loved it! 

We all love Instagram. I'm a little bit addicted. After taking the pictures & saving them to your computer do you do anything with them? (If you do I'd love to know!) I was itching for a project so I had to brainstorm. I'm sad to say I didn't come up with the original idea for this project, but I loved it so much I have to share it with you anyway.  

It's quick, easy, and you only need a few simple things: Printed Instagram pics (I printed mine at home but you can find several places to order them online), a blank canvasMod Podge (I used semi-gloss), and a paint brush. That's it. And the steps are simple too. 
  1. Gather your supplies and decide how you want to layout your pics.
  2. Start in the corned and use the Mod Podge to attach the photos until they're all nice and pretty.
  3. Seal the collage with another coat of Mod Podge to smooth everything out.
  4. Allow your Insta-Art to dry and hang it up for everyone to admire.
I also went to the trouble of cropping out the borders because I wanted them to all match, but that's in no way a requirement. You can do what you want- that's the beauty of DIY art & home decor. You can truly make it yours. Enjoy!

PS Want to win some awesome prizes from me (gift cards, blog design, awesome things like that)? Go herehere, and here.

Sunday Favorites

Jun 23, 2012

This darling guy is my puppy back home, Toby. See how he sleeps with his tongue out?
It's too long for his mouth and it's always sticking out. Always.

Jane's recipe for spicy shrimp & teriyaki chicken kabobs looks so delish. I'm going to drop in for a BBQ if I'm ever in Hawaii.

This clutch is absolutely adorable and perfect for summer parties.

Patricia did a fun layout change how-to on her blog that I just loved.

This idea for preserving your fresh herbs is the best I've seen.

Kirstie shared an awesome recipe for pie crust that I need to try.

Mindy's five minute friday about Risk this week was a great read. She took it in her own direction and I love that.

And if anyone can crochet well enough to make me this purse I would love you forever. Seriously.

Simply Pretty Things

Jun 22, 2012

 Remember a while ago I talked about ordering the Wuthering Heights cuff bracelet? Well it came in the mail yesterday and made me so happy. Isn't is a beauty? And it has my favorite line:
Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
That's how I feel about my hubby. I know, cheesy. The bracelet is so cute though!

I have a few more fabulous sponsors to share with you today, just because I love you so much. And their pictures are beautiful. Also, I know I said this yesterday but I still have a few spots open for sponsors next month and I would love to work with you!


This picture is from Kirsten @ Through the Front Door.
Kirsten says: This picture is of Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado, and the reason it is one of my favorites is because it reminds me of one of the most beautiful places and an amazing two weeks I spent there with some wonderful people.
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Kirsten says: I seriously think bananas taste better when you slice them. Seriously, try it... I swear it's true :)
You can find Kirsten elsewhere too.

This photo was taken by Jenn @ Passenger Seat Perspectives.
Jenn says: I love this because after trying and trying to get a close-up picture of birds outside our house, this one finally sat long enough to take the photo! I think it came out beautiful.
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Jenn says: There are a lot of people who don't know I blog ;) It seems silly, but it's something I do that is personal to me, and I think I worry sometimes that people would laugh at some of the things I post. And I'm really not the type to share personal things with the world. But I love sharing things through my blog!
You can find Jenn elsewhere too.

Instagram to Postrgram

Jun 21, 2012

Remember last week when I had to apologize for going overboard with all the Instagram pics? Now you get to see exactly why I did that! Next week I'll share an art project I did with some of mine, but for now I'm going to show off this beauty. I don't usually want 3'x3' pics of myself in the house (I swear I'm not that vain) but this is one of my husband's favorites and he helped me pick it out. The best part? It's made up entirely of my personal Instagramed pics. 

I know you love this and now you want one of your own, right? Go visit Postrgram to get yours. Seriously, they were so awesome to work with. I had questions before I ordered that were all answered immediately, and I got to approve a proof of my poster before it was actually printed. A year of my life all in one picture. I'm in love.

PS Do you want to do a sponsor swap in July? I have a few spots left so shoot me an email if you're interested!

A Beach Trip

Jun 19, 2012

It seems I'm at a loss for words today. There is so much weighing on my mind and now is not the time to talk about it. So instead I'll share my favorite pictures from a little trip to the beach Aaron, Twink, and I took. Photography has become my favorite thing in a crazy world.

My Very First

Jun 18, 2012

Well my lovely friends, today is an exciting day. Today is the day of my very first group giveaway! My sponsors have contributed awesome prizes and I've included a little something as well. Just because I love you. I won't leave you in suspense, here are the fabulous things you get a chance to win!

 Blog - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Hellocotton - Pinterest
 Blog - Facebook - Bloglovin' - Google+ - Hellocotton
 Blog - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Shop
 Blog - Facebook - Pinterest
 Blog - Facebook - Instagram
Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - Instagram

This prize pack is winner takes all.
Enter through the nifty little gadget below!
Please be honest about your entries- I will verify!

Language Barriers

The language barrier here in Japan is awesomely entertaining. I find myself acting things out way too often- it's like a perpetual game of charades. I went to lunch with a friend the other day at a little Tex Mex restaurant (it's my fav). My friend wanted chips and queso and explained it to them as "cheese dip." They brought her back ketchup. What??

Anytime I watch a movie and see people driving on the right side of the road it throws me off for just a minute. It's funny the things you get used to when you live in a foreign country for 6 months. That's right- I've been here six months. Only 2 years left. I'm off to eat chips and guacamole now. Don't miss me too much my loves.


This picture was taken by Kristina @ From City Corporate to Suburb Mama.
Kristina says: I dream of being an amazing photographer but am a struggling photographer at best. Can I blame the camera? This picture was just so pretty and I was quite proud of myself! So, I love it!
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Kristina says: Most people don't know that I've had 7 surgeries in my short life, all for very random things, like Osgood Schlatter's disease, falling down a flight of stairs and tearing tendon in my ankle to exploratory laparoscopies for possible endometriosis to carpal tunnel surgery in both hands after the birth of my first baby. Whew!
You can find Kristina elsewhere too.
Blog - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Shop

This pic is from Kelsie @ My Beautiful Life
Kelsie says: Even though this picture is a bit blurry, and it was taken by my iPhone, it is still my favorite. I have a hard time getting my boyfriend to smile (his real smile) in picture, so any picture when I can see the smile I fell in love with is a favorite of mine.
When asked, what's something more people don't know about you,
Kelsie says: I am only 19! I have been in a relationship (with that cutie pictured above) for two and a half years, so most people assumer I am a lot older than I really am.
You can find Kelsie elsewhere too.
Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

This pic is of Stephanie @ The Anecdote of My Life.
Stephanie says: I love this photo because it capture such a great emotion out of me. It is a strong empowering photo and by far one of my favorite pictures.
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Stephanie says: I am extremely education driven! I have 2 degrees and I am working towards getting my masters and then I will hopefully attend medical school.
You can find Stephanie elsewhere too.
Blog - Fitness - Instagram

Sunday Favorites on Father's Day

Jun 16, 2012

Dad, Sue, Joe - Obviously this pic is a few years old but it's beyond difficult to find pictures with my dad actually in them!
This Sunday my most important favorite is my daddy. I am a daddy's girl and always have been. When I was little I wouldn't eat dinner unless I was in my dad's lap, eating off his plate. Did I mention that I was also spoiled? He is the best dad a girl could ever ask for- loving, kind, patient- and he'll go with me to get sushi any time I want. Or spicy foods. We share a love of both and everyone else in the family thinks we're nuts. I love my daddy so very much.

I'm trying to conceive a reason why I need this floral hair wreath. It calls out to me.

Kirsten shared the coolest customizable chandelier and I love it.

This button bracelet DIY is adorable and I think my limited skills could handle it.

Brielle wrote a cute post about plants vs babies- I'm fairly certain they're different!

I love prosciutto. And this chicken prosciutto salad looks divine. Plus, Daryl gives you a recipe for homemade croutons. Must try!

Kelsie does a cute series called What I (Wish) I Wore Wednesdays and the outfits are always darling.

And have you ever had homemade pickles? They are delicious. You can find an easy recipe here!

I'm Finally An Aunt

Jun 15, 2012

I'm crying lots of tears.
Mostly happy,
because she's so perfectly beautiful,
some sad,
because I can't be there.

On my parents 27th wedding anniversary, 
they become grandparents.
And my amazing sister & her husband become parents.
We are all thrilled.

I feel honored to be an aunt to such a perfect baby girl.
My heart is completely full today.

A Year of Instagram & a Vlog About Nothing

Jun 14, 2012

This is the first picture I ever Instagramed- exactly one year ago. How cool is that? I love being able to look back at all my pics over this last year. Seriously, I adore Instagram. If you follow me I apologize for yesterday. I was doing something special and needed to Instagram about 40 pics! I can't WAIT to share with you the result of the something special though. I promise it will be well worth it.

I've become enthralled with film photography lately. I ordered three (yes three!) "toy" cameras off Amazon today. I'm already anticipating their arrival! Also, because I love you, I made a vlog. It was in no way planned but that's okay. Twink makes a cameo and I talk about nothing so it's a really good one.

And of course I'm continuing to share my love of photography with you all by introducing more fabulous ladies on the blog.

This pic is both by & of Lou @ Foxy Whiskers (I know, that's some serious skill).
Lou Says: This photo was taken in Quebec City a couple of years ago. We were wondering around at night and snapped this picture with a self timer. I still can't believe how wonderfully the picture turned out!
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Lou says: I am left handed, I am one of seven children, I love the sound that high heels make when you walk down the pavement, and one day it is my dream to have my own vegetable garden- complete with three chickens!
You can find Lou elsewhere too.
Blog - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Hellocotton - Pinterest

This picture was taken by Allyce @ Chalk in the Rain.
Allyce says: I'm no photographer, this photo was taken through instagram actually. This photo is one of my favorites because I love the bright colors blooming in this picture.
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Allyce says: Our family has close relation to the McCoys & I'm PROUD to say that I can bust out all the Just Dance 3 choreography to "Party Rock Anthem," "Gonna Make You Sweat," and "Forget You" anytime... anywhere. Thank you Just Dance.
You can find Allyce elsewhere too.
Blog - Twitter - Bloglovin' - Pinterest

Mindy @ My Life As Mindy took this next pic.
Mindy says: I took this picture Easter 2011 and it was by complete luck it turned out so well. I told her to smile, and she did. This picture captures her personality, beauty, and sweet nature in one shot!
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Mindy says: I want to write a book one day. I have no idea if I will or what it will be about, but I will write it one day!
You can find Mindy elsewhere too.
Blog - Facebook - Pinterest

This pic is from Heather @ A Day in the Life of a Pascoe Wife.
Heather says: I love this photo because it was the first smile that I was able to capture, even though he was asleep when he smiled he still melted my heart.
When asked, what's something most people don't know about you,
Heather says: I am deathly afraid of lizards, not the big huge ones but the tiny ones. I run and scream when I see them, they scare me to death.
You can find Heather elsewhere too.
Blog - Facebook

Perfect Capture

Jun 13, 2012

This week was amazing for photography. 
I captured what I can honestly say is my favorite picture I've ever taken.

I swear, it's not edited- only sized.
Aaron and I were walking with Twink and he spotted this beautiful butterfly. I took a few shots quickly, afraid he would fly away, but none of them were quite right. So I got down on my stomach and photographed him at his level. He just sat there while I took a few pictures. This was the last (and by far the best) of the pics & as soon as I captured it he flew away. It's like he knew he was being photographed. 
It was magical.

Pen & Paper

Jun 12, 2012

Today is one of those days that I really want to write something but I'm not sure what exactly. I guess we'll just see what comes spewing out of my fingers. I've begun writing with pen and paper more lately and I find I think more fluidly when I focus my attentions that way. There's something so magical about a pen and paper. It's always represented endless possibilities to me. You can turn it into anything. A notebook can hold your hopes, dreams, secrets, and stories. I collect them and fill then with whatever I deem worthy of a notebook. Not everything makes that cut.

My favorite notebook right now is my inspiration journal. It's a small, leather-bound book with hundreds of empty pages that are slowly being filled. When I find something that inspires me I add it there. When I'm looking for inspiration I read through my notebook. Sometimes I laugh at the things I've written in the past. As it turns out I'm not always a genius! Who knew. I've discovered though, you have to have non-genius ideas to get them out of your system so you can move on to the fantastic, amazing, beautiful ideas that you have trapped inside your soul. There is so much potential deep within. Don't judge too harshly, this is the beginning of something I've been working on.

To ride on the wings of angels
would be to taste forever.
Imagine forever-
the vast emptiness waiting to be filled.

I feel very exposed after writing that down. Yikes.
Today I find myself inspired by this song.

Where do you look for inspiration?

PS You can find me here and here today. They're both great reads.

New Blue Hair

Jun 11, 2012

I used to have purple hair. Then one day I had to change it for a job (stupid job- except not because that's where I met the husband). Then I was going to dye it back but Aaron and I got engaged and I figured I'd keep it classic for the wedding. But I reached my limit and it was definitely time for a change. So I dyed it all dark brown and left a random blue streak, just because I wanted to. I love having unusual, original colors in my hair- and Aaron is crazy for the blue so I can't complain. Oh, and my handsome Twink baby got a haircut for summer. Tell me he's not adorable.

What awesome hair colors do you like to have fun with?

I'm Obsessed

Jun 10, 2012

with photography.
Absolutely obsessed. 
I heard through Gentri Lee about an app for iPhones that double exposes your pics.
How cool is this? I know. So cool.

Because of my love for photography and pretty things I'm sharing some other fabulous pics with you today.


This picture was taken by Shane @ Whispering Sweet Nothings.
Shane says: I love this photo because it was one of many I took while working at Over-the-Rhine, an impoverished area in Downtown Cincinnati.
When asked what's something most people don't know about you,
Shane says: Most people don't know that as much as I love people and socializing, I don't mind having time to myself every once in a while. I call myself an introverted extrovert.
You can find Shane elsewhere too.

Patricia @ Red Writing Hood took this little beauty.
Patricia says: I took this photo after coming back home to Utah in 2011. I was finally back to my sanctuary and the place that I loved.
When asked what's something most people don't know about you,
Patricia says: When I was 5 I lived through a HORRIBLE blizzard that wiped out our power, food, everything. The National Guard had to bring in tanks and helicopters to dig people out.
You can find Patricia elsewhere too.

This delightful pic was taken by Brielle @ Mr. D & Me
Brielle says: I just adore this picture because it was one of the only times the hubs actually allowed for his picture to be taken (in fact, he asked for it!) and he just looks so freaking adorable. It definitely makes me smile.
When asked what's something most people don't know about you,
Brielle says: I skipped kindergarten and went straight to 1st grade when I was five. I absolutely did not want to go to 1st grade but the principal wouldn't let me go to kindergarten because I could already read.
You can find Brielle elsewhere too.

I hope you all enjoy meeting my sponsors this way. I got bored of the old way and it was getting generic anyway. I think asking people to share their favorite pictures gives a much better look at who they really are. Don't worry, there are more to come!