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.