Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Challenge 8: Warm Love

Like Maggie mentioned in her version of this challenge's post, we decided to make this challenge really open-ended. And by that I mean, there were no rules. Something about Valentine's Day. That's it.

I'm the kind of person who loves Valentine's Day when in a relationship and hates it when single. I am not the kind of person who buys cheap chocolate the day after. I like to spoil and be spoiled. Perhaps not the most flattering view of me... but when I give a Valentine's gift, I like to make it thoughtful and suited to the recipient's taste.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Who?
Until recently, me neither. I never watch it, but apparently it's all the rage to some people. It's a British Sci-Fi that has been running for about a billion years. And in an old, old (ok in the 1970's-ish) versions, there is a version of the Doctor wearing this scarf:

And using this, from a Dr. Who fanatic I found thanks to Google Images:

And my person of interest, being the nerd he is, got a version of his own (yeah.. picture quality could be better, I know):

As I stated in my last post, I have recently learned how to crochet. This one took me about 5 weeks (it's about 12 feet long!)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Challenge 8: Engagement Photos (Maggie)

For our first challenge of the year, we decided on a Valentine’s Day theme. It was very open ended and I had a lot of ideas and a lot of different directions I wanted to go. But it occurred to me that this is the only Valentine’s day that I will carry the label “fiancée” so I better make it count.

I was really unsure of this “engagement photography shoot” idea that seems to be a must-do lately. I loved the idea of having these photos, but I was stressed out about a lot of things—what to wear, who to take the photos, where to take the photos, etc. So for this challenge, I’ve assembled a list of of how to minimize the stress and maximize the bliss.

5 Steps to Perfect Engagement Photos
5.  Find a photographer who fits your vision.
Lately, I have had lots of friends and family that have gotten married.  Each set of engagement photos are so different—some are modern, some are classic, some are edgy, some are relaxed…  I knew I wanted something in the middle.  I didn’t want too modern (have you seen those photos where you are left wondering if the couple even loves each other because throughout the entire shoot they are scowling the entire time…?)  I didn’t want too classic, because sometimes that seems too safe.  So I sought to find a photographer who had a balanced vision.  Someone with an artistic eye but also someone who truly wanted to capture our love. 
I had the great fortune that my uncle is friends with an extremely talented photographer.  After glancing through his portfolio, I knew he had that balance I was looking for.  If you’re in the Denver metro area, I would recommend him to anyone.  In the photo on the left, you can see that he has a unique eye for incorporating art into his photography.  On the right, he was able to capture how entirely enamored I am with my fiancé.  The absolute perfect balance.

4. Wear clothes that make you feel confident.
This is fantastic advice I received from a friend who recently took her own engagement photos. So I sought to find clothes of colors that I love. I would also suggest pops of color, We were al little more monochromatic than I originally planned for, but that was a little out of my hands (see #3 below). But there were a couple of pictures that included the small pops of colors and they are lovely.

3. Some things are out of your control, but sometimes those things make for unique photo opportunities.
Somehow, we booked our engagement photo session on a day that Colorado decided to dump about 2 feet of snow. I figured the photographer would cancel and we’d reschedule for another day. To my surprise, he wanted to go ahead and go for it. I’m so glad we did. I love, love, love the snow.
But on occasion, I did have to tell myself that it was going to be ok that I wasted a week planning an outfit that would be mostly covered by a jacket. Or that I wasted an hour straightening my hair. The snow certainly did frizz it out, but bygones. So be it rain, snow, or shine (or wind, or clouds or whatever mother nature chooses for your day), confront it with a smile. If the pictures don’t turn out exactly how you want, at the very least you and your fiancé will have a good story about it. But my guess is it will provide for photo ops that will set your photos apart from all others.

Frizzy hair?  Yep.  Am I mad about it?  Nope.

2.  Bring your ideas, be open to others.
I spent a good amount of time on Pinterest looking for my favorite engagement photos to try to capture similar moments.  Our photographer was open to all of our ideas.  I returned the favor by being open minded to his as well.  Especially when I heard him say, “Hey, you should kick snow in her face.” Wait, what?  Is this really happening?  Yep.  Or “Hey, run down this sidewalk and then I want you to tackle Maggie.”  I could have fought it and said “Thanks, but not thanks.” But that would have been a shame--they turned out great.  It’s like Andrew (the photographer) knew us at our core—that we are goofs and are playful and ridiculous. 

1.  Pretend the photographer isn’t even there. 
The greatest moments happened when Andrew told us to go about as if he wasn’t even there.  We had real conversations, we made jokes, and we loved every moment.  It was perfect.


If you are in the process of planning your own engagement photos, best of luck and enjoy it!  xoxo—maggie.  Find some of our favorite places to visit.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

When I'm not studying the corpora quadrigemina...

Okay. It's been a while. I've learned the hard way that anything to do with grad school sucks up any and all of your time. Every moment spent not studying or working on some sort of assignment makes you feel guilty. Really guilty. And I'm not even in grad school yet. (Maggie, how did you do it?!)

These past few months, I have been applying to different schools (a full time job in and of itself!) and taking some intense courses to fill requirements (like neuroanatomy!). Which means that things that bring me simple joys (crafting, cooking, reading, exercising, etc.) have fallen by the wayside. Because, let's face it- stuff like that doesn't get one into grad school, or get a job, or anything that gives the illusion of 'adult productivity'. And that makes me grouchy. And stressed out. And... maybe I've gained a little weight. Well.

It's high time that changed.

I do have a couple projects sort of on the way. I've joined ravelry, as I now know how to crochet (thanks Lindsay!). I have also joined Pinterest, a wonder of wonders for inspiration. I joined a knitting/crochet club. And I'm determined to get myself out of this rut and feel as good as I used to before this stressed kicked in.

Don't get me wrong, though the applications are completed, I'm still biting my nails down to the bones waiting on an answer. And those courses are still ongoing and are tough as ever.

Oh life.

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