Wednesday, January 27, 2010

favorite things: photography related

Yes, my friends. You heard right. It is time for another installment of favorite things! Woot woot!

I get lots of emails and messages from people asking me what my favorite photography equipment is, and what I use to edit my photos. So, I thought to myself..."Self, what better opportunity to answer these questions than in a favorite things post!"

(Please don't judge. I blame my weird mood on the cold medicine I had to take this morning.)


1. Shootsac - This is my absolute favorite bag to carry around with me at weddings and on shoots. It is perfect for keeping my favorite lenses at arms reach when I need them...I also stick my memory cards, extra batteries, and Burt's Bee's lip balm in there! Now, they are slightly more expensive than the typical bag...but they're not your typical bag either. I was blessed to win my Shootsac in an online giveaway...and I love love love it! Worth saving your pennies for it.

2. Lightroom - a.k.a. Lifesaver. This program seriously saves me soooo much time! I import all of my RAW images into Adobe Lightroom and do all of my color adjusting in there. Lightroom is great because you can do batch editing, where you edit one photo and then can apply those edits to a slew of other images. Brilliant!

3. Justin & Mary Marantz' Spread the Love Tour - I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago...but seriously, going to this workshop was absolutely amazing! It was such a time of encouragement and inspiration. Even now...weeks later, I can't stop thinking of the principles that Justin and Mary shared during Spread the Love. If you're a small business owner, or want to one day open your own small business...I highly encourage you to go to this workshop!

4. 50mm 1.8 lens - This was the first lens that I bought after my kit lens, and I LOVE it! When I first got my DSLR camera, I was slightly overwhelmed with how expensive lenses are (ha, I'm still overwhelmed with that)...but this lens only costs about $100 and it is so amazing. If you don't have one already, please go get it. I love it so much I might just adopt it. We'll see...might have to convince Jonathan on that one.

5. Seat Belt Camera Strap - Husband got me this super cute strap for Christmas. It's turquoise and matches my branding for tiffany zajas photography. And I love it!

So, how about you...what are some of your favorite photography-related things? :)

Happy Thursday everyone!

P.S. Rumor has it we're supposed to get snow tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm crossing my fingers! I want to build a snowman.

Monday, January 25, 2010

i heart organization (+ evernote)!

I am an organization junky. I absolutely love finding new ways to organize my life and my environment. The tricky thing for me is sticking with a system. Sometimes I have to try out a few different ways of doing things before I settle on a method that works best for me and my lifestyle/workflow.

Today I am giving Evernote a try for the first time. Both my husband and my dad have used this program and have talked about how amazing it is...but I have never tried it for myself. This morning after sorting through a bunch of notes jotted down on post-its and yellow legal pads on my desk...I became determined to find a better system for organizing all of this information! So, I am giving this nifty program a try (and I'm really excited about it!)

Evernote allows you to gather and organize notes and images from a variety of sources! You can take a pictures with your cellphone and email them to your Evernote account (keep track of contacts by taking pictures of business cards, snap a photo of the white board after a meeting or class, or grab an image of a poster on the bulletin board at a coffee shop.) You can clip recipes from the web and keep them neatly organized with relevant tags. You can even store audio notes as memos to yourself for certain projects!

I'm still trying to figure out the best ways I can incorporate this new tool into my daily life...but I am very excited about the possibilities! :)

If you would like to see more videos and tutorials on how to best use Evernote, go here.

How about you? What are some of your favorite programs/applications/methods for organizing your life?

Friday, January 22, 2010

real life photoshop.

This cartoon made me laugh this morning:

Jonathan and I often joke about how awesome it would be if Photoshop would work in real life. Lately we've been picking out paint swatches and trying to decide what color to paint each of the rooms in the house...and wouldn't it be so much easier if we could just use Photoshop? If we didn't like the color we chose, we could just switch it out in a matter of seconds. ha, well, we can dream, right?

I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday! I really can't believe that it's the weekend already. This week really flew by fast.

Happy weekend everyone! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

favorite things: for right now

I love finding joy in little, simple things. Each day there are small things that make me smile, and I love sharing them with you guys.

So, here are some things that have made me smile lately...a few of my favorite things, if you will.

1. The Big Bang Theory - This show makes me laugh until my sides hurt. Sheldon is my favorite and makes me smile. Certain aspects of the nerdiness in the characters reminds me of some people very close to me...*cough*husband*cough*Dad*cough*brother*cough* :)

2. Bodycology's Lotion in Vanilla Romance - Every time I put this on, I have to remind myself not to eat my arm. It smells delicious and makes me crave cupcakes (which maybe isn't such a good thing...ah well.)

3. Buffalo Wild Wings - Last night husband brought some wings home for dinner, and it made my heart dance! Also, Tuesdays are great for BWW because they have Wing Tuesdays!

4. How to Win Friends & Influence People - EVERYONE needs to read this book. Seriously. It is life changing, and I'm only on the fourth chapter! If you care at all about being a good friend and influencing people (and the world!) in a positive way...please read this book. It's a very easy read, and I think it should be re-read often. Go get it. Read it. Then tell everyone you know to read it. You won't regret it.

5. Gray nail polish - Black polish has been a favorite of mine for a couple years, but now gray nail polish is competing for my attention and adoration. It's lovely and goes with everything so I don't have to change my color on a daily basis. Yes, please!

What are some of your favorite things? Please do share! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a restful weekend.

I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful this past weekend was. Jonathan, Max, and myself hopped in our car and trekked over to Cleveland to visit with my family for the long weekend. It was such an amazing few days of rest, good conversation, playing games, joking around, and just being with people we love. We also got to see some of our best friends while we were in town. It was a much needed weekend away. :)

I hope you all had a great weekend and are having a wonderful start to your week!

Right now I am working on clearing out my Inbox and getting lots done on some projects. I am very excited about what this year has in store!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2010

on this week and a face that melts my heart.

This week has been such a crazy-busy-amazing one. Right now is the first time all week I've actually sat down and had the chance to reflect on all that has happened. To start things off, I had the unexpected opportunity (and absolute blessing) to attend Imaging USA here in Nashville. It really was such a great learning opportunity for me! Attending a photography conference like this has been one of my goals, and I'm so happy that it actually happened. :)

Also, yesterday I had the chance to go and hear Justin & Mary Marantz speak at their Spread the Love tour. I can't even begin to describe how amazing it was. They are such a wonderful inspiring couple. It was great to hear them share their hearts and see their passion for what they do and the people they work with. I left feeling very inspired and encouraged to tackle my dreams. If you're a small business owner and Justin & Mary are coming to a city near you...I highly recommend going to hear them speak! Sign up now. Go do it. You won't regret it.

And to top things off, right now I am snuggling on my couch with this little fella:

hehe, this picture is one of my favorites of him. Our little Max brings so much sunshine to our lives.

I hope you all have had an amazing week and that you have an even better weekend! We are taking advantage of this long weekend and going to go and visit my family. I am so stoked! We'll also get to see some of our bestest friends while we're there...and that is awesome.



Friday, January 8, 2010

friday finds: resolution generator, tutorials, coffee cake, + a LOST recap.

Happy Weekend everyone! I hope you all are having a great Friday. :) I was pretty happy this morning because husband's office was closed due to the he got to stay at home with me and we ate blueberry pancakes.

AND this afternoon my dad is coming to see us here in Nashville. We will be taking him to the airport in the morning, but I'm so excited we get to spend time with him before he goes!

I hope you all will have a terrific weekend. In the meantime, here are some fun things I've found around the internet this week:

New Years Resolution Generator. If you're still having a hard time deciding what your goals will be for this year...this little generator can help you out. I just like clicking the button to see what it comes up with. A fun little time waster. :)

Top 100 Tutorials of 2009. Feel like doing something crafty this weekend? Head on over to The Long Thread and check out this wonderful list of tutorials from last year! Ah, so many cute things to little time.

Coffee Cake. Yum. I'll let this picture speak for itself.

LOST recap in 8 minutes. Any other LOST fans out there? I'm really looking forward to the last season starting on February 2nd. A lot has happened in the past 5 seasons, so watch this recap to help remember all the details.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

kate's 8 month photo session.

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I can now share these images with you. A couple of months ago I babysat our niece Kate for the day. I had a little mini photo session with her and we framed some of the photos and gave them to her parents for Christmas. They absolutely loved them! Of course, who doesn't love to get photos of their precious child?

Kate is such a cutie and is always so well behaved. She also seems to love the camera (at least the sound of the shutter) and I have no difficulty getting her to look right at me. :)

It's amazing how much she has grown over the past several months! You can see her newborn photos here, and her 3 month images here. She's going to have her first birthday before we know it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

on accomplishing those goals.

Thanks so much for all of the sweet comments and messages while I was sick these past few days. I am feeling worlds better today, and have been so happy to have a productive day to actually get things done!

Last week I shared with you that I've made 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 days. And I plan on sharing with you little bits and pieces when these goals are'll help keep me accountable. :)

Here are some of the goals I've been working on today:

Eating more real food. Both Jonathan and I want to eat more produce every day...preferably organic (when we can.) Today I had a yummy lunch that consisted of a bunch of different veggies (cucumbers, carrots, red & green bell peppers) with homemade guacamole to dip it in. I cannot even begin to describe how absolutely delicious this was! It was so much better than dipping the veggies in ranch (which, let's face it...really isn't healthy) and I LOVE guacamole. Avocados are one of the best vegetables for you too!

Making our bed every day. I really want to get into the habit of making our bed every day. I normally make our bed a few times a week, but I really want to get back into the habit of making it every single day. It's such a simple thing to do that makes the room feel pleasant. I used to be so good at doing that before we were married, so hopefully this habit won't be too hard to create.

{photos by me}

Monday, January 4, 2010

an update from the couch.

I haven't been feeling very well for the past few days, so I've been resting and trying to get better lately. I am oh-so-thankful that I remained healthy throughout the entire holiday season. This is the first Christmas/New Years that I haven't been sick since Jonathan and I first met! So, being healthy for the holidays was such a big blessing to me. So much of a blessing, in fact, that I almost don't mind being sick now...almost. :)

So, here I am giving you a quick update from the couch...

This has been my spot while I've been resting.
Well, mine and Max's, that is. He can be quite the couch hog sometimes.

But I do love that handsome dog. He's great to have around for company.
(especially since husband is back to work now)

They say that laughter is the best medicine.
So, today I went to hulu for some comedic relief. I wasn't a fan of the show Community when I first watched it premiere, but today it's making me chuckle.

Cantaloupe is so yummy and actually soothed my stomach for a while.

Well, there you have it...nothing too exciting going on around here right now. But I'm hoping to be better soon so I can hit the ground running and get back to work!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying your Monday. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

goals for the new year and beyond!

With the beginning of a new year (and a new decade), it got me thinking about what exactly I want to accomplish in the next few years of my life. I don't want time to pass and nothing change and not much accomplished. I am a goal and list motivated person, so I wanted to try something new that I think will work well for me.

I've heard it said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. For the past couple of weeks I've been working on a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. Why 1001 days? Well, instead of making new years resolutions that are open ended, I wanted to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows several seasons to complete the goals.

I've created a separate blog to record and keep track of these goals that I've set. If you'd like to, feel free to go and check it out:

I've even included fun little things that I've always wanted to do, but have never actually made the time for. Here's to the next 1001 days being filled with inspiration, adventure, and accomplishment! :)

If you end up making a list of your own, I would love to hear about it! Feel free to share any goals or new years resolutions you have made in the comment section below.

Happy New Year, friends!