Sunday, October 30, 2011

a day at the park with friends. [personal.]

man, it's been a while since I've done this.

as a few of my faithful followers may have noticed, I have not blogged in a very long time. there were multiple reasons for this, but the main one was the simple fact that I was just too busy. In the past three months, I have barely picked up my camera. August brought the crazy, crazy business of moving back to my house at school, getting ARTISTS going again for the new year, and [most importantly] starting classes for what may be the busiest semester of my college career, and September and October didn't provide much relief. Midterms are [almost] over, and though I still have a ton of schoolwork + other responsibilities to take care of, I decided it was time to document the small [but significant] pleasures in life.

Yesterday, a few of my friends and I took the afternoon off and headed to a local park, cameras in hand. We took some pictures, but mostly we just enjoyed the opportunity to delight in each other's company.

Lauren, with her awesome film camera.

James, sitting on a bridge.

Stephanie, sitting by the water.

James again, through the camera of his phone.

oh, the many faces of Monika.

I wish I could share more, but my schoolwork beckons. that's all for now, friends!

love, love, love.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

pure beauty - lauren a. + group [bryan/college station, tx, roommate photographer]

wow, friends. It's been a while since I've posted anything. I guess I took an accidental hiatus - summer can do that to ya, I guess.

anyways, it occurred to me today that I haven't yet posted a lot of the pictures I've promised you! I've finished them all, I just need to post them... so without any further ado, here are some pictures of Lauren, the fourth and final roommate.

this girl holds a really special place in my heart. I'm used to seeing her 5+ days a week, so not seeing her or barely even talking to her for over 2 months has been really weird. She's been working at a family camp all summer, and she's got some great stories about how God was working through her and growing her during her time there. She really does live for him, and it's inspiring to me. With every step she takes, she truly seeks his will and lays her life at his feet, trusting his goodness. We are different in many ways, but I truly believe that if more people were like Lauren, this world would be a better place.

these are a couple of my favorites of her from that afternoon. beauty.

well, since it's been a while since I've posted, I'll treat my audience today with two sets of shots! kind of. I've now caught up and posted all the individual shots of these roommates, but now I'll post the group shots. This was the real reason they wanted pictures - they'll all be living in a new house this fall, and they wanted some pictures of all four of them together to dress up their new space.

All four girls are pretty creative, and goofy and silly... and a couple of them are musicians, so they decided to form a band and take some pictures with their instruments...

during this whole part of the shoot, I could NOT stop laughing. They just keep striking silly poses that kept me smiling and giggling the whole time. Their house is going to be so much fun.

and so beautiful.

favorite. they are just too cute.

well, dear ones, that's all for now! sorry for the delay, thanks for stickin' with me! have a great Tuesday, everyone!

love, love, love.

Friday, July 1, 2011

pure beauty - kaitlin o. [bryan/college station, tx, roommate photographer]

Oh, I love Fridays. There really is nothing better. This Friday is especially great, because I get to share with you some pictures I took of my friend Kaitlin.

Kaitlin is the third roommate, and some of you may recognize her. That's either because you know her in real life, or because I've photographed and blogged about her before. I tell you what, I am so spoiled to have so many dear friends with red hair and blue eyes. So gorgeous.

Little world, here's Kaitlin.

This girl has a fire in her like nothing I've ever seen. She is so passionate and spirited; she has this energy for life that doesn't take no for an answer. She is one of the most loyal and generous people I have EVER met.

This girl has had some really incredible things happen to her this summer and this semester. It is truly inspiring to see all the many ways in which God uses her as a vessel for His Kingdom. Her faith when He redirect her path and changes her plans is steadfast, because she believes the truth that His ways are higher than our ways, and it's so encouraging to watch her live out this faith.


Have a great weekend, friends! Enjoy your 4th of July! Next week I'll post Lauren, some group shots, and maybe Autumn!

love, love, love.

Friday, June 24, 2011

pure beauty - rachel s. [bryan/college station, tx, roommate photographer]

TGIF, everyone!

I hope you've had a good week so far. I know I have! I spent the last part of last week and the first part of this week with some dear, dear friends that I hadn't seen in a while, and I really enjoyed that time with them. It was great.

One of those dear, dear friends was another one of the roommates! Affectionately known as "Mama Chel," she is the maternal figure, caretaker, and nurturer of the group.

Everyone, meet my friend Rachel.

God has truly given her gifts of hospitality, encouragement, and prayer. She is a servant to all she meets, both in earthly and spiritual ways. Every time you turn around, she is always baking someone cookies or muffins or peach cobbler, or making them dinner, or doing their laundry, or just giving them a really, really great hug. She truly reflects God's character and tends His sheep.

I'm including this picture of her b-e-a-utiful Fightin' Texas Aggie ring [whoop!] because she had just gotten it when we took these pictures. It's such an accomplishment, and I know it's a really important tradition that she was really excited about being a part of. Congratulations again, Rachel :)

Favorite. Timeless beauty.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll see you next week! I've finished all of Lauren's pictures, but she's at camp for another couple of weeks without internet access, so I'm going to wait to post them until she gets back. But Kaitlin and Autumn are next!

love, love, love.

Monday, June 20, 2011

blog design: done! [personal.]

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope it's not too much of a Monday...

big news of the day: new blog design is done! at least for now, until I decide to start messing with it again. check out the about me page, it's brand spankin' new!

I'm visiting friends this week, which has been super great. I sure have missed them, and it's been such a joy to be here with them. That being said, I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on pictures [plus I've been working on the blog, thankfully it's finally done!] but hopefully this week I'll post some pictures. I've got some other stuff up my sleeve, but it's only Monday. I'll save it for later this week ;)

short post today! check back later this week :)

love, love, love.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

pure beauty - mattie g. [bryan/college station, tx, roommate photographer]

Happy Thursday, friends! And welcome to the new and improved blog! I worked on it this weekend, and it's mostly done... but there is still some tweaking to be done, so be on the lookout for some more changes! I hope you like it :)

Ahem. Back to business. I think we can all agree that I have some of the most beautiful girls that God ever graced the planet with for friends [their hearts reflect His beauty more than their faces; I know it's nearly impossible to imagine, but it's true.]

Well, four of my stunning friends, most of whom I'd never had the privilege to photograph, have decided to be roommates next year. [I think their house will simply explode with all that gorgeousness, but that's another matter.]

Not only did these dazzling ladies decide to live together, but they decided they needed roommate pictures for their new house [as if the poor house could accommodate any more beauty...] and they decided to ask little ol' me to take these for them.

I mainly took group shots, so I'll post a ton of those later, but for now, I wanted to share with you a few individual shots I took of each of these girls.

This, my friends, is Mattie.

There are so many things that I love about Mattie, but my favorite thing about her has to be - HAS to be - that her heart is totally on fire for Jesus. He is truly her rock, her redeemer, and her reason for anything she does. He is where she finds her strength, and that is totally encouraging and challenging for me. She is one of those people that can mention his name in every conversation she has with anyone, which is something that I struggle with, and I think it's awesome. She is a woman who truly knows the power of prayer, and when she prays over me, it is always such a blessing. God has been good to her when life was not, and because of that, she sings His praises always. I am so thankful to have her in my life, to be this example for me.

That's all, for now, I suppose. But stay tuned! I have the rest of Mattie's roommates coming up soon, as well as some more of this beauty...

I know this was a post about Mattie, but I couldn't resist giving a sneak peek of Autumn's shots from last night. They'll be up soon!

Have a great weekend, friends!

love, love, love.

Friday, June 10, 2011

granola bars! [personal.]

in order to make up for my lack of posts over the past couple of months, I'll try to entice my audience back with two posts in one day! this is a recipe I found/developed this afternoon. it was definitely an experiment, and it certainly didn't turn out like I expected, but gosh darn it, it was good.

I've heard of people making their own granola bars, but I was never really that interested until my mom came home last night with a new recipe. She made them, and they were good, but I just kept imagining how they'd be better if you added this, or this, or this. So I added them all, and this is what I came up with! Please excuse the crummy pictures, they were taken with the camera on my phone.

Start with 2 cups of oats.


add a cup of chopped nuts (I chose walnuts, but you could use whatever you like) and a cup of coconut.



as you can probably tell, I didn't use a full cup of coconut, because I didn't know how strong the flavor would be. I easily could've used a full cup and it would've been fine. or, if you don't like coconut, don't use it.

mix all that up, and toast it in the oven, stirring it every once in a while.


while that's toasting, mix honey,


brown sugar,






and butter. heat them over the stove and stir until everything is blended nicely.

mix the honey mixture with the oats mixture, and then throw in a handful each or so (I'm really precise when I cook) of your favorite add-ins. I used chocolate chips, marshmallows, and raisins, which were all really good.

once you add everything you want, bake it again, and voila! you've got granola bars!



This recipe was a conglomeration of Alton Brown's granola bars, my mom's original recipe, and my own ideas.

Here's what I'd do differently next time:

I was impatient, and instead of waiting for the oats mixture to cool after it came out of the oven, I added the chocolate chips and marshmallows immediately, so naturally, they melted and became an ooey gooey mess. It was still really good, but my granola bars turned into something much closer to a decadent dessert than a healthy snack. If you wanted the chocolate chips in their original form, you'd have to wait until the oats cooled off. You'd probably have to coat the oats in the honey glaze either before you bake them, or do it when they come out of the oven, then allow them to cool.

If you wanted a healthier variation, you could easily omit the chocolate chips and marshmallows or substitute them for something else. Next time I make this, I'll probably leave them out and see if I can get something closer to an actual granola bar.

Despite all that, these were really good, and I will probably make this recipe again! Overall, I'd call it a success.

Here's what I did!

2 cups of oats
1 cup of chopped nuts
1 cup of coconut
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
a handful or so each of chocolate chips, marshmallows, and raisins

mix the oats, nuts, and coconut together. bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring every so often. combine the honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and butter. cook over medium heat until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved. stir into the oats, and add chocolate chips, marshmallows, and raisins. grease a square glass baking pan, and bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes. let cool and cut into squares. enjoy!

anyone have a favorite granola recipe they'd like to share? I know there are some pros out there, and this is new for me, so if anyone's got any suggestions, I'd love them!

till next time, friends!

love, love, love.

ps - I'm starting a new blog design. I don't know how long it'll take to get all the kinks worked out, but it'll be going up bit by bit, so please be patient! it'll be pretty again soon :) thanks!

pure beauty - stephanie w. [bryan/college station, tx, portrait photographer.]

so, blogger is being rather weird, and hasn't let me save this post all week... I started it on Monday, and the silly thing just wouldn't save! so, without further ado, here is Stephanie.

a while back, my friend Stephanie volunteered [or, rather, acquiesced when I volunteered her] to be a model for me and let me do a photo shoot of her! She was really great, we just went and hung out in a local neighborhood park for the evening and had a lot of fun. I wanted to post my favorites from that afternoon and share them with you!


I have been so blessed to get to know Stephanie this semester. She is always up for an adventure, and she is so passionate about people. She is one of the most loyal and genuine people I know, and she'd do anything for anyone.


When you're around her, be prepared to answer a LOT of questions - it's how she gets to know you and shows you that she cares about you and is genuinely interested.


that smile makes me SO happy.


She's a patient and encouraging teacher. I ran into her on campus one time while she was longboarding (which she's a pro at, by the way) and she stopped so she could teach me how to do it. Usually, I am reluctant to try new things that involve balance and coordination and the possibility of getting hurt and/or embarrassed, but she made me feel like a rock star, even after I almost ran into other people.


Girl can eat, and she loves dogs.
(two more reasons why we get along really well.)


I don't know what I've done to deserve such beautiful and caring friends, but I really do have an abundance of them.


These last two are some of my favorite favorites.


have a great weekend, friends!

love, love, love.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

busy, busy, busy. [personal.]

whew. finals are right around the corner, and life is busy. between preparing for finals, going to review sessions, making sure all assignments are in and complete, finishing all the papers and presentations that professors believe are so appropriate to have due right at the end of the semester, wrapping up ARTISTS stuff for the semester (and getting started on preparing for the fall semester), moving out of my room for the summer, and making sure I'm ready to go to Nicaragua, I've kind of got a lot going on.

that being said, I hope that my faithful followers (whom I am SOOO thankful for!) are willing to extend a little grace when I'm not posting as often for a while. and I hope that the people whose pictures I've taken and haven't finished will extend even more grace, because I know they're excited and waiting patiently. I'm excited too, because they're looking really great! but, due to the circumstances, they're going to have to take a little bit longer. unfortunately, school (and all the other chaos) must come first. rawr.

I'll post when I can, and hopefully you'll hear from me soon! I've still got Stephanie, the roommates (Lauren, Rachel, Kaitlin, and Mattie) and more up my sleeve!

love, love, love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

pure beauty - monika l. [bryan/college station, tx portrait photographer.]

Happy Wednesday, friends! Today, I'd like to introduce you to Monika.


For those who followed my last blog, or know me in real life, this face might be familiar to you. She is one of my dear friends. I've known her for a year and a half or so now, I suppose. We really became friends over the summer, when we lived together for three months.


Let me tell you, I learned about sides of this girl that I had never dreamed existed.... like her passion for sponteneity and learning new things.... Over the summer, she decided she wanted to learn how to knit, so she just did! She bought some needles and yarn and made a hat. She also tried out making her own beads, for jewelry making, and they turned out AWESOME. Aaaaand she made the best apple pie I've ever had.



I learned about her sneakiness and creativity when it comes to prank wars, but in the same breath, her passiveness in staying neutral the entire time... When Stormie and I were at war with each other, be it through pranks or Facebook comments, Monika took both sides. When I was out of the house, she'd help Stormie put my shampoo bottles in the freezer, and when Stormie was gone, she gave me a boost so I could reach her light in her room to take the lightbulbs out.




So, interesting fact about this shoot... when we were shooting, we saw and smelled smoke coming from a tree. We went over to it, thinking there were people barbecueing behind it or something, but lo and behold, the tree was on fire!

It was one of those trees that's more like a large bush, where its branches touch the ground completely, and the grass underneath its branches was all on fire. Occasionally the flames would rise up and touch the branches, and I was kind of afraid the whole thing would just go up in flames.


It was actually a really small fire, but it was still a fire, so we called the fire department. It was actually kind of embarrassing, because they brought two fire trucks and a police car for one itty bitty fire...



I am so blessed to call this fellow chocolate-lover, animal-lover, and creative crafter my friend and my sister in Christ.



That's all for today, friends!

love, love, love.