Archive for February, 2010

When I was a little girl, my parents had a thing for artwork involving waterfalls and other nature-y scenes. Come to think of it, all my friends’ parents had ‘em…guess it was the cool thing to have at the time. Well you see, there’s this one piece in particular that sticks out so vividly in my head, I’m afraid if I ever had contact with it again, I would go a bit nutso on it. Let me paint the picture for you (no pun intended): a river with rocks and gold frame to boot that took up most of our living room wall. Oh, but wait…it gets better. There was this god-awful electric cord dangling that just had to be plugged in anytime we had guests over. The crazy thing (I can’t bring myself to call it art) magically LIT UP and had some sort of motion sensor in it that made me dizzy every time I stared for too long. Everyone else thought it was the most happenin thing ever. I wondered for a long time what was up with adults. Needless to say, I have a fear of artwork mixed with nature now. Blame the magic river thingy that lit up and moved.

I’m more of a simple, modern kinda girl and when I first saw this poster…I like wanted to have it…for like…ever. :) It helps that it’s been featured in every design magazine (for when I pitch it to Adi). Famous artwork that won’t make you nauseous? Sounds good.

I did a lil’ more searching and I found this on Etsy that would look lovely on my nightstand as well…

Or these

And one because I do live in the sunshine state ;) A far cry from my parents big ol’ flashing supposed artwork, doncha’ think? Word up. ;)

Happy TGIF everyone!

Sales, with Love

02.25.10

I adore good bargains. There’s just no greater satisfaction than paying 50% less than what the store wants you to pay. I promise you the cashiers grunt at me as I breeze my way to the sale section. They must have my shopping mug shot under their cash register cabinets or somethin’. Every year, during any given holiday, I can be found browsing the aisles in the stores and mentally picking out my favorite items. Then I wait. Because come December 26 or February 15 or the day after Easter (it’s always different…and I just can’t keep up), EVERYTHING goes on sale. Trust me…I have this down to a science. And if you’re really patient and really persistent, you’ll find some pretty mind-blowing deals. I love my holidays, but this gives me something to look forward to once they’ve passed. After I’ve scored my awesome decorations that everyone else paid full price for (pardon my gloating), I immediately wrap ‘em up and put ‘em away. Then, come next year, I unwrap with Adi and as if I hadn’t purchased them myself, I’m full of oooo’s and ahhhh’s and the occasional wow’s. Yes, yes….I am easily amused.

I kid not, almost all my holiday decor, I’ve gotten at a 75% OR MORE discount. Hence, my awesome love mugs I scored as a post Valentine’s Day Sale at Home Goods. Coffee just tastes so much better in them…

Happy Thursday Everyone!!!

Does anyone ever wake up feeling like they need to make a huge change? Not as in, change the world for the better by buying a hybrid…but as in, paint a wall or become a vegetarian. Professionally, I’m deathly afraid of change. I get really comfortable doing something and I like to stick to what I know works. But in my personal life, I’m always changing things around. Like I’ll finally decide on a bedroom color (after changing it about 2-3 times) and Adi will finally paint it and then I’ll see a pillow and suddenly get an urge to change everything. I do this a lot. Well the other day I decided I needed a change…with my hair. Last year was the year for bobs and bangs and I was absolutely certain that if Posh could do it, so could I. WRONG. Next time I get a brilliant idea like that, someone please knock me out and remind me to come back to planet earth. The planet where humidity makes my bangs fall so flat against my forehead, you’d swear I took a stick of butter to it.  The planet where my hair has always been thin no matter how much volumizer I spray on. The planet where perfect blowouts cost me my lunch. FOR A WEEK.

So this time around, I decided for something much more subtle. Reversible, in case of disaster. Between highlighting, lowlighting, and every other type of lighting, my hair has seen some better days. So I marched myself into the salon this morning and boldly proclaimed I wanted to go dark to my hairstylist. She looked at me as if that was the most heinous idea she’s ever heard. Suddenly, my confidence turned to mush and I went from bold to squeaky voice and question marks at the end of my statements. After she got done saying I’d probably invest in a blonde wig tomorrow, I decided to go just a few shades darker. And you know what? I won’t be investing in a wig. I’m not quite used to it yet and I startle myself a bit when I catch glimpse of my reflection in a mirror but it’s no where near as bad as the bangs and bob idea. So here’s me: all bold and light brown. Next up? Big red. :)

Ok so my husband wasn’t home in time to take the picture while there was still light out, so I resorted to the wonderful 10 second timer, hence the missing 1/4 head look. And yes, my shirt says that “I’m in the cool zone” …so what if I’m the only one who thinks so?

I swear it’s darker in person…I guess the camera does occasionally lie… ;) Happy Thursday everyone!!

Never Enough…

02.23.10

Today I woke up feeling so blessed. So thankful…and it’s not even Thanksgiving. Adi and I decided to go watch The Book of Eli after dinner last night and there was something in that movie that I’m pretty sure had something to do with how I woke up feeling today. Denzel can do that to me. Now, I’m not gonna start promoting the movie or anything but I’ll just say it was SO GOOD and you should all go SEE IT. (ps. if any movie producer ever reads my lil’ blog by some strange impossible chance, I’d totally be willing to promote movies and be super convincing…for a very small fee.) Ok, moving on. There is some deep stuff in this movie and without giving anything away, the character is living in some sort of post-apolyctic time period where “people have to kill for things that we take for granted these days”.

I woke up not wanting to take anything for granted. Not our health, our home, our families, our ipods…nothing. We have so much more than we need yet we always want more. We never have enough. When I stand in front of the tomato sauce aisle at my grocery store and I have 50 different brands to choose from, I don’t blink twice. Large meals are no longer sufficient…we have to super-size them. Toyota’s supposedly don’t drive as well as BMW’s. It’s alway more. It’s always an upgrade.

When I visit my grandma in Romania, I’m always reminded just how spoiled we really are. She can’t leave for too long because no one would feed her chickens. She still goes to a well to get water. She walks to church. It’s a rather simple life and sometimes, I’m envious because she’s completely satisfied with it. It seems the more we have, the less thankful we are. It makes me wonder if someday it were all taken away from us, how we would survive. So this is a reminder to myself to say a prayer and be thankful for everything. For big things, like my husband and for little things….like my duvet. Happy Tuesday everyone!

This was taken when I woke up this morning….and yes mom, I made my bed after :)

It was all because of someone else’s wedding. Alex was a friend of the bride and Toni was a friend of the groom. They were paired together in the bridal party and met for the first time at the rehearsal the night before their friends’ big day. Toni described seeing Alex walk through the doors and running to the other side of the church….to hide. Because he was completely taken by her beauty and a bit shy. Despite the nerves, they met, locked arms, and walked down the aisle together for their friends. They spent the entire wedding getting to know each other and Alex soon discovered this shy boy was sweet and surprisingly funny. They fell in love and next week, they’ll be walking down their own aisle…at their own wedding. Isn’t love wonderful?

Alex & Toni got engaged about 3 months ago. Yep…you heard right…they planned the wedding in just 3 MONTHS. When they contacted me for engagement photos and told me they were getting married so soon, I thought for sure they’d be a hot mess when I met them. Instead, they were relaxed and completely at ease. Sure there are nerves but what’s more important is that they’ll be married. And they can’t wait. Alex & Toni, thanks so much for letting me hitch a ride with you guys and making this engagement shoot so much fun. I have to confess… I had a few nerves myself, but after 3 minutes with you guys in the car, I felt like your BFF. :) You guys are so amazing….not only because you pulled off planning an entire wedding in the time it took me to find my wedding dress, but because you focus on the big picture: your marriage. You’re an inspiration and I know you will be blessed. Enjoy!

We shot around in Coral Gables, Miami and it’s safe to say that all 3 of us want to one day live there. And Adi, you can come too ;) Here’s the first spot we found just driving around…coral everywhere!!

A + T Engagement

Look at those eyes! No wonder Tony was nervous….

Some lovely portraits of a lovely couple:

A quick outfit change later, we roamed the GORGEOUS grounds of the Biltmore Hotel. This is why I love Miami…so much charm.

A few of Alex being fabulous. Hun, you are beautiful. PERIOD. 

Separately, they are beautiful…

…but together, they are perfect.

I’ll end with one of my faves….it’s just so romantic…

Actually, THIS is what I’ll end with….it’s just so Toni. I had a whole bloopers reel for them by the end of the shoot. They are silly and oh so cute together.

Sorry boys…this one’s for the ladies. Come to think of it, I need to show the guys a lil more love here on Fridays. Adi pointed out that all my fabulous finds seem to be for girls. NOT TRUE, I protested. I’m sure there are boys who love Etsy and shoes. Ok, Ok…I’ll try to be more gender neutral. Next Week. Because this week, IT’S ALL ABOUT MY LADIES. Here’s the deal…this is very, very important and I’m about to tell you all a secret that could possibly be the most important secret ever told. And the best part is, I urge you all to TELL this secret to every woman you know…especially the single ladies.

Adi and I just recently finished renovating our bathroom and being that I’m an interior design major, you’d think my wonderful husband would just let me make ALL the decisions, right? Not so. He wanted to be involved and know exactly what sink he’ll be washing his face in and what shower tiles he’ll be standing on. Sure he let me have my fun and pick stuff out but sheesh, did my guy have opinions!  That’s too girly, that’s too white, that’s too sparkly. We love to talk about our future home one day and how we would design it and every now and then Adi mentions things like “black walls” and “stainless steel cabinets”. Which brings me to my next point.

Girls, if you are single, please…PLEASE indulge in your girliness while you still can. For the love of pink and fluffy pillows, DO IT. Decorate with all things feminine and don’t ever look back. And for all you married ladies, pick a room or a bath or a table and just make it your space. Complete with candles, lace, and pink peonies. Before I got married, I surrounded myself in pretty lavenders, soft grays, and off whites. Now, I have to work hard to convince him we need window treatments. Because my guy vigorously shakes his head and starts sneezing at the mention of silk….Sigh….

So for me…and for all the ladies out there, on this very Friday, I implore you to celebrate our gender! Mean time, I’ll give you some fabulously-feminine eye candy… I’ll start with what I dreamt my bathroom to look like: pretty chandelier, mirrored nightstand, free standing tub, white washed wood floors, and Louis-style side chair, oh pretty please come to my home…

To my taken ladies…remember that space we talked about ? You know…like a nightstand table or somethin? This is what it should look like:

What a FUN and totally modern kitchen!! Hey Adi, I bet my cooking would improve… ;)

Just a POP of pink will do…

My dream bedroom…chic and so romantic. Blue’s a boys color isn’t it? Maybe someday…One thing Adi has promised me is that someday he’ll build me a huge closet. Well hunny….here’s what I’d like. Extra brownie points if you include those clothes. You’re the best… :)

I’ll end with an ode to the silk drapes I’ll never have….

Happy Friday Ladies!!! (And gents if any of you got through to the end of this…)

*all images were found via {this is glamorous}*

It’s pretty easy to get inspired. All you have to do is look around you…or scout the internet. You’ll find PLENTY of inspiration there. So much in fact, it’s kind of intimidating. On a daily basis, I check my blogs and I’m constantly and completely inspired. Sometimes, blown away. And sometimes even discouraged. How will I ever be that good? There is so much talent out there, how will I ever compete? And that’s the thing…I don’t even really want to. Because every person has such a unique gift that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Plus, I hate competition…I’m more of the lend-a-hand, help-a-sista out type of gal.

Whatever passion lies in one’s heart, there are 50 bazillion others who share that same passion. And some are more passionized about it than others (I totally just made up that word but you get my drift). At school, for example, I look at some people and think, they are going to rock the interior design industry. And then there are those, bless their hearts, that I want to hug and suggest they try dental school. But I don’t…because I’m a nice girl. With photography, I see other’s work and think I’m sooo screwed. And then I come across someone else and think…hmm, maybe I do have a shot at this. ;)

Through everything, I know I have to stay true to who I am. And my own uniqueness. And I have to keep on being inspired so that I can push myself to be better. I just hope I won’t have to apply to law school or somethin’…

Mean time, here’s a little peak at my Canadian couple whom I love so dearly…and who believed that I could take pretty pictures in freezing cold.

I know, I know…I’m such a tease.  Happy Thursday everyone!!!

I’ma keep it real for you all. I get a kick out of reality TV…it’s such a big waste of time but I still dig it. Not all shows though…there’s no Tila Tequila or Flava Flav up in my house. I just love me some good girlie shows with a teaspoon of romance, a shot of great fashion, and a pinch of drama. Before I got married, my mom and I would open a bag of popcorn and watch The Bachelor go on fabulous dates with 25 women every Monday night. How will he ever chooooseeee, mom? We’d place bets and then analyze why we chose who we chose and why that choice will be the best choice he’ll ever make. We’d cheer when he’d send the “nut” home and yell at him when he gave a rose to the “drama queen”. Then I got married and Adi would have no part of it. He thought the bachelor was a player for having all those women around and don’t let me get started on his thoughts about The Hills. I’d watch an episode here and there but it just wasn’t the same…oh how I missed my mom.

Well a few weeks ago, The new season started and by complete chance, I started to watch it..and I was HOOKED. Kudos to you Chris Harrison, this season really is the most dramatic ever! If you don’t know who Chris Harrison is, GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL. I slowly began to ease Adi into it…Look babe, the bachelor is a pilot…you always wanted to fly didn’t you? or hey wouldya look at that…St. Lucia is featured in future episodes…It’ll bring back memories from out honeymoon! Spark his interest, if you will. Well, IT WORKED! Adi has been watching The Bachelor with me and I know he’s secretly hooked as well. He may not place bets with me yet (baby steps, people) and he may complain for the first 10 minutes…but soon enough, he’s calling out those drama queens and even yelling with me at Jake for keeping Vienna around.

Last night we were catching up on this week’s episode and during the rose ceremony I turned to him and was all if you were The Bachelor and I was one of the girls, would you give me a rose? To which he replied I’d tell Chris to give me a string so I could tie all the roses together and give you the entire bouquet…no need to keep anyone else around. Hmmm…I have a feeling I’m going to LOVE watching my shows with Adi….

Theirs is a story of oceans apart. Two people living in two very different worlds, completely unaware of one others existence. He in France and she in Chicago. Yet in a moment in time, they came to the same place and formed a strong connection. Raluca & Ovi met on a ski trip through mutual friends of friends. Ovi was instantly drawn to her, but Raluca was hesitant. After all, he lived in Paris for goodness sake. She was comfortable with her life in Chicago as she was the proud owner of an ultra chic clothing boutique. But fate would have none of it. They couldn’t deny their connection and decided to give it a shot. Not long after, they decided to get married because when you know, you just know. Ovi has since crossed over to the great land of America and they are now living their happily ever after in a new state, with new friends, and a new life. Wanting a break from the cold, these newlyweds ventured over to South Florida and wanted to document their beginning in a relaxed setting. We shot around Fort Lauderdale and then headed over to the fabulous Pelican Beach Resort for more.

Raluca, Ovi,….thank you for showing me that when you know, you just know. I had SO much fun with you guys and I’ve truly never met a couple who laughs more than the two of you. Your photos are a true reflection of your happiness and next time you guys are down, we’ll return to the Pelican Grand for some dinner by the ocean.

These two always laugh. It’s usually Ovi making Raluca laugh but they are just such a happy bunch. I just know their laughter will last a lifetime…and if you run out of jokes Ovi, you can always call me and I’ll help a brotha out. ;) On another note, can we just talk about Raluca’s hair? I had MAJOR hair envy. There I was, all limp-locked…wishing for her glorious curls.

Oh perfect light, how I wish I could bottle you up and take you with me everywhere.

They are newlyweds…and they still flirt with each other. I loved that.

The Pelican Grand Resort had some amazing spots to shoot in…I love that place!

One of Raluca by herself…because she’s absolutely gorgeous. And because I want her hair. ;)

For the majority of the shoot, Ovi made my job easy. Everything he said was hilarious, and Raluca laughed out loud in agreement. But THIS time…this ONE time, I was the one who made her laugh. Ovi, I may not be as funny as you, but would-ya just looky what we have here…

We chased the yummy light. No, really. We ran for it.

One of my favorites…they belong in a catalog. Fo’ Shizzle.

Ok, honestly now. Could they BE any cuter?!

We found a really cool lifeguard stand with no lifeguard. Awesome for us…not so much for swimmers…

I’ll end with this beauty…. Raluca & Ovi, you two were made for each other. 

Happy Tuesday Everyone!!

A Card & You

02.15.10

Yesterday marked our 7th Valentine’s Day together. Has it really been that long? Over the years, we’ve ingested one too many chocolates from heart-shaped velvet cardboard boxes and exchanged loads of gifts. But HANDS DOWN, my most favorite thing to get from Adi has always been cards. Cards that were funny, sentimental, and from the heart. I’ve collected and saved every single one I’ve ever recieved…. birthday cards, anniversary cards, Christmas cards, Valentine’s Day cards, Presidents Day cards (don’t hate), our wedding day card… you name it, I’ve saved it. I just love reading what’s in his heart and yes, I cry like a fool each and every time. After church yesterday morning, we headed over to my parents house for lunch. Later that afternoon, my mom handed me a stack of cards she had found in my old room from the time Adi and I were dating. And as I began to read each one, I laughed and I cried…simultaneously. Quite the site to see.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day over a romantic dinner that lasted for hours. Tucked away in a corner, just the two of us, I couldn’t help but think that this Valentine’s Day was my very favorite. Not for any other reason than the simplicity of our love. We no longer feel the need to impress each other anymore with gifts or buy each other chocolates from boxes (though I still welcome ANY type of chocolate on ANY given day). We’re happiest just being together and spending time together. Just him and I….talking, laughing, and reading our cards.