Thursday, March 31, 2011

a wish list

i think it's a sign of preparing for parenthood... that i'm super hesitant to make many purchases for myself. i've got so much to get for this baby, how could i justify getting some of the things i want for me? with this in mind, i really premeditate each purchase. like REALLY premeditate it. here are some things that i'm still meditating upon. i obviously can't get them all at once, but eventually you will see a carolee equiped with all of the items listed below. not because i'm over-excessive... but because (in my premeditated state) i've realized they're not just wants but necessities.

item # 1: an OH SNAP t-shirt.

photographer Mike Clark has come up with some incredibly fun photo t-shirt designs that i've just been dying over as of late. can you picture this t-shirt on a little boy in a onesie? oh dear! it's like a necessity NOW and my baby still has a few months to go before he could even think about wearing one. matching shirts. i might just have to get one for the mr. as well... i feel a family portrait session coming on! thanks mike! [to see other designs go here]

item # 2: the 'any' camera bag insert.

The Any Bag Camera Bag Insert at the Photojojo Store!
seriously folks... you'd probably be shocked if you saw that i have a tendency to carry my contax around in my purse. i'm almost embarrassed to write that on here. i have camera bags, but they're thinktanks and they are big. too big for an afternoon out on the town. and so the purse is the next best thing. this camera bag insert is definitely a necessity! found here.

item # 3: an underwater film camera

Buy the Reusable Underwater Camera at the Photojojo Store!

seriously, what more needs to be said about this?! besides the fact that summer is just around the corner....

item # 4: a custom camera-strap cover

my camera strap is boring. sure would benefit from a little love and color to spice things up. i would need a customized strap cover, just to make sure it fit properly- but here's where i found the above picture.

item # 5: summer sseko sandals

i was first introduced to these sandals on one of my new favorite blogs, dear baby. a super-cute momma and momma-to-be had a giveaway. no, i didn't win... but i still want my own pair bad.

maybe i'm putting this out there since my birthday just so happens to be around the corner... maybe i'm wishing out-loud for some incredible things this year... maybe not ;). at any rate, gift or no gift the items above are just so much FUN.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a really cool story

awhile ago i read a really cool story about a guy [Todd Bieber] who found a lost roll of film in central park. he almost left it right where he had found it, but instead, picked it up and got it developed. what he then saw were beautiful photographs taken during new york's blizzard. he felt that the owner of the photos needed to know that they had been found and so used social media to circulate the photos and story. and that's all i knew. that was the last i had heard... until yesterday.

a blog i follow regularly [design mom] just so happened to post about the lost roll of film- which, it turns out, is no longer lost.

you can hear the rest of the story here.

i seriously am loving everything about this cool chain of events. one of the things i love most about it is that it was made possible because the woman who took the pictures shot them with film. time out for a little film-shout-out. she doesn't profess to be a photographer and yet understood the basic mechanisms of a camera to shoot film. i love that. digital photography has completely changed the way we photograph. it's so refreshing to see moments like this happen because someone chose to embrace a film camera.

in case you were wondering, in my freezer-right next to the edamame, i have my little film storage unit. i'm a lover. everything that you've seen posted on this blog has been shot with film.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the neon sign graveyard

vegas is the city of lights. it seems that the lights there never sleep... signs are everywhere- flashing. blinking. enticing visitors and locals alike to come and be entertained. it's like a whole new world. you step onto the strip and for a minute you're in new york. the next minute you're in egypt and then paris. there's really no other place in the world (that i know of) which offers such a feast for your eyes- and wallet.

that's why the idea of a neon sign graveyard was so utterly appealing to me. what happens to the signs that are too old to be used anymore? [it's somewhat reminiscent of the velvetine rabbit... who remembers that book? it was one of my favorites as a little girl. such a beautiful story!]

at anyrate, in vegas there's a place where all the used-up, no-good, old-and-broken neon signs go. they have their own little home. a home where they have purpose. it's the NEON SIGN GRAVEYARD. this graveyard is actually treated as a museum. every item there has a story. they don't take just anybody through to look at the signs though. you've got to contact them through their website, specify which date you'd like to come, how many are in your party and what time you'd like to be included in the tour. they are a non-profit organization, but they do ask for a $15 (min) donation to participate in the tour. soon, very soon, they'll have a brand new visitors center. they acquire funds for this and all other things that they need to do through the donations and through professional shoots. i believe the killers once filmed a music video here.

anyway, these photos which i took were merely for personal use, but i couldn't help but want to share them. what a fun spot to see on an afternoon in vegas!

this is where we spent our st patty's day. :)

mmmmmmm.... nice!

this is what happens when i give my husband the camera...

when i took this i was thinking "Beckham Love"

Monday, March 28, 2011

viva vacation in vegas

so spring break was up and coming and that meant time for a get-away. britton and i are in love with traveling. we just don't get to do it enough. so the week we spent away in vegas was sorely needed and super enjoyed.

we traveled with some really great friends. ben & emily have known my husband since way back when... elementary days maybe? they've been life-long friends. and as i've gotten to know them, it's been easy to see why. they're easily one of the most enjoyable couples to kick it with. needless to say, we all had a blast.

we kicked it pool-side, spent a considerable amount of time hot-tubbing (not me though... i just stuck my feet in, since little baby beckham wouldn't have liked to have been cooked in 100+ degree water), we bbq'd by the pool, we explored vegas, ate at the Paris buffet for breakfast, got to see the Blue Man Group, ate Pho with my brother and sister-in-law, caught up with the Hendricks... and even stopped by to see the NEON SIGN GRAVE YARD (stay tuned for photos from that excursion-to be posted tomorrow!). it was an awesome vacation.

ben & emily

@ the Paris buffet

some yummy drinks after PHO with my cool brother and his awesome wife

a really "americana" diner with nasty greasy food. will never eat here again! lol. but it looked cool.

and..... a sneak peek of what's in store for tomorrow's post... the neon sign graveyard.

Friday, March 25, 2011

21 weeks... lucky rabbit ;)

we had an appointment with our midwife this week and it turns out that i'm measuring more like 24 weeks than 21. but i assure you... i'm only at week 21. i think my little boy is just loving his time to grow. things are looking real good and i'm feeling great.

i've been a part of a group called ARTISTS WANTED for some time now and they just opened up a new "call for entries." their submission request is on "the power of self"- and so they called for self-portraits. since i've got a lot more of those than i've ever had before, i went ahead and submitted some of these baby bump shots. here's the link to my submission. there's a jury of judges who choose the grand prize, but there is also a people's choice award- that is determined by VIEWERS LIKE YOU. at any rate, you can vote each and every day. you know you want to... click on the link and spread the love.

so back to my baby. he's measuring approximately 10.5 inches now. about the length of a carrot. these carrots aren't exactly 10.5 inches (unless you count part of the green stem) so for the sake of accuracy, that's what we're going to do here. [10.5 inches is from the tip to the edge of my pointer finger]

oh and the dress is a new addition. just picked it up from h&m while in vegas last week. :)

uncle bit

i've posted before about how much i absolutely ADORE my sweet little niece. she's a total dream. so fun, sharp, smart, cute, sweet and loving- she's the total package. we can't seem to get enough of her and her momma. i'm so lucky to be part of such a great family.

little b loves her uncle bit (that's what she calls my husband). she loves him so much cause she knows that he cares so much for her. last night we knew that they were going to be here in utah county so we made a special stop just to see them. when we arrived at my inlaws, little b was in the bathroom with her mom. britton knocked on the door and said "brighton, guess who's here!?" and all we heard from the other end was a little girl and her over-joyed giggles. she was sooooooooo excited. she came out and gave us the biggest hugs and kisses. oh melt my heart.

so selfish me convinced her momma to come over for a sleepover and we all hung out well into the night. we played games and watched pushing daisies and ate toast and strawberries and cuddled. little b was such a trooper. but she got real tired and so britton picked her up and snuggled with her on the couch for a bit. "time for bed" he said. and so they tried to sleep. it was the cutest thing ever. i couldn't help but pull out the trusty camera phone and take a few shots.

soooooo cute. so so cute. seeing my husband be such an attentive and loving uncle makes me that much more excited to see him as a daddy.

and now for my favorite dialogue:

me: brighton, who is your favorite uncle?
brighton: UNCLE BIT!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

lunch with the fabulous christine

every once in awhile you come across a friend who you know was meant to be. that's how i feel about christine. i met her shortly after she moved back to utah and hired her to shoot my wedding. best. decision. ever. i just knew she was cool right away.

here's just one reason for her coolness: although it may be hard to believe, my husband has a really hard time relaxing in front of the camera. we've had our pictures taken by others... and he's never really liked the pictures or the sessions that much. but, when christine came around, he was able to totally relax and just be the awesome man that i totally love. she has that ability to allow people to be themselves while she captures them on film. pretty cool.

i love my photo-friends (we're all kinda nerdy). i love that we can talk FOR HOURS (literally) about metering, film-types, camera gear and the fun things we could photograph without it ever getting old. seriously. i love the positive vibe that happens when we meet.

a few days before leaving for our little vacay, christine and i met up for some yummy lunch and serious photo-girl time. it was the best. the kind of good time that when you finally realize what time it is, you jump in your car--reluctantly--and head home, chatting the whole way on the phone. [TRUE STORY].

here are some fun photos from that fabulous and beautiful afternoon.

want to fall more in love with her? check out her blog and website. enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

20 weeks... the half way mark and a banana

i'm a tad bit behind on last week's baby bump progress simply because we were gone for the whole week in sunny las vegas. and boy was it a well needed and completely enjoyed vacation. these we photographed, while in vegas and i just got the film back today. enjoy!

congratulations, i'm your dad!

today i feel compelled to give a little shout-out to some local guys who have started quite the mini-series. i met jeremy years ago when we were part of a group who went to see ghostland observatory perform in salt lake. although this post isn't about ghostland observatory... mentioning them here makes me remember how awesome they are. such a fabulous concert. one of my all-time favorites! anyway, back to jeremy's group: the angel murkurker.

if you haven't seen any of their productions, you are seriously missing out. they're witty and clever and thoroughly entertaining. you can follow them on twitter or facebook or youtube.

this week they uploaded a hillarious video about becoming a dad. i watched it with britton and we laughed out loud. i sincerely hope that you can appreciate everything about this little production and love it for its awesomeness!

Monday, March 21, 2011

welcoming spring at the STARMILL

tucked away on a little side street in beautiful american fork, utah sits a sweet piece of heaven. the STARMILL general store has been one of my most favorite discoveries in all of utah county. at the starmill they treat you like family. they are so warm and welcoming and they have the neatest collections of things. as a photographer, it's a dream location and their fees for using the property for shoots are very reasonable. they've been closed for the winter, but are reopening on the 24th of this month and i couldn't be more excited.

a few days ago i drove by and saw connie out front. they were getting things ready and let me shoot a few shots with my lady contax.

interested in shooting around the starmill? here's all the info you need to know to make an awesome opportunity like that happen:

Daniel Cooper: 801.369.2422
147 E 600 N
American Fork
Reg Store Hours: Thurs-Sat 12-6

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

time for a vacation

well friends, it's that time... husband is having a spring break and we are running away for a much needed vacation.


so there will be a mild break in posts here for the remainder of the week as i rest and repose and soak in some much needed sunshine. but check here tomorrow (i will be doing a guest post on an awesome blog-check it out!!)

and now for a few fun photos. i'm part of an inspiring group of female film photographers. we meet together to discuss inspirations, to grow together, to support, to hang out, to eat... it's the ideal group. we give out assignments to just stretch our comfort zone and this week we decided that we were going to photograph motels. since i'm leaving for a vacation, i thought that these would be appropriate images to share.

shot with my contax 645 and kodak portra 400vc

have an awesome week!! baby bump and fruit pictures to be posted upon my return! this week a growth spurt has occurred- and i am bigger than ever! ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

health, fitness, beauty and self-image

ok, so if any of you know me personally, you already know how passionate i am about health and fitness. how important it is to eat smart and to exercise. but more importantly, how it is vital as a women, in today's society, to cultivate a healthy awareness of self. we are bombarded daily with media that says we are not skinny enough or smart enough or pretty enough or perfect enough. as young women struggle to find out who they are, they often are overwhelmed with the idea that they have to be what the media says is pretty in order to be worth anything.

i've been on a very personal journey in regards to this topic. i struggled, like most young girls, with my self esteem and my weight. i allowed my emotions to rule my eating and my self worth suffered because of it. thankfully i had the love and support of my family, caring for me and loving me for me, regardless of what i thought of myself and this love and support carried me through. looking at me now, most people find it hard to believe that my petit 5'3" frame once carried more than 180lbs. this was years ago... but it still happened. at one point i wore a size 16. i did loose a little bit of weight after reaching that size, but i plateaued for several years at an average of 160 and a size 10-12. i learned, even at this weight (which wasn't my ideal) to love my self, regardless. my self worth wasn't dependent on my size. i loved being me. this was life-changing. i found happiness is the service i offered others, in the friendships i had cultivated, in the beauty i had within.

and then, after finding peace with my appearance i realized that there was so much more that i could do- for me. i decided to really take my life in my own hands. to not make any excuses and to work for what i wanted. i worked my way down to a petite size 4 and have basically maintained it ever since. as i have grown through this pregnancy i have felt awesome as i've maintained my regular workout regime of going to the gym a minimum of 3x a week. some weeks i make it more than just 3x. other weeks, it's harder. but i feel healthy and firm and fit and i know that my baby is benefiting from the care and concern i have for my body.

since i feel so passionately about this topic, i wanted to introduce you all to an amazing and incredible woman that also believes in the power of self and works hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Christina Lowe was this year's Miss Utah. she's an inspiring woman, an incredible friend, super talented and well- very fit. her health is important to her and she knows what it takes to work hard at that gym. she's been one of my all-time favorite gym partners. a week or so ago, she agreed to let me take a few pictures of her and then she answered some questions on this topic. this is such a prevalent topic for women everywhere and so i really felt it was important to address.

Q: In your experience as Miss Utah, how has your view on health and fitness changed?
I have always viewed health and fitness as an important component in my life. I feel better when I eat healthy and stay active. It has changed by serving as Miss Utah because there is more incentive to live a healthier lifestyle. That has allowed me to learn to be more disciplined.

Q: If you could offer advice to women, both young and old, regarding their health and fitness, what would you hope that they would learn/implement into their lives and overall health?
The key to fitness and nutrition is balance. You have to live with your body your whole life. There should be balance in eating and exercise. That is the struggle. Finding that balance amidst the changing circumstances of your life is difficult. However, if one truly cares about their health. They will create the circumstances around them that allow for healthy living. I get on kicks where I am super healthy and then kicks where I eat whatever I want. I have tried to just find a good medium with realistic expectations of myself. When I balance nutrition and exercise I always feel better.

Q: Who (if any) are your women roll model(s)?
Princess Diana has always been a role model to me. She was a women of great love and compassion, yet she was strong and fashionable. It is a neat dynamic to be able to have. There aren't very many good role models for women though. Most women in the media don't know who they are and struggle with loving themselves.

Q: What's your typical workout regime?
I try to do weights three times a week and cardio two times a week. Sometimes, if I miss a day, I will do a half hour of both. I like to go to classes to break it up as well. I love to cycle, and do yoga once in a while as well. For cardio, I usually get on the ARC machines that really work your legs. I also run a lot. When it comes to weights, there are all sorts of things from lunges, pilates, push-ups, to mountain climbers and lots of things I don't know the names for.

Q: What's your favorite snack/indulgence?
Anything with peanut butter and chocolate is the indulgence problem that will be the death of me. For snacks, I like apples and peanut butter.

Q: Do you feel that the pressures society places on young women and their physical characteristics is realistic? Any advice regarding how to handle/view the pressures and expectations from the media?
I absolutely believe that they are unrealistic. If you think about all of the things that society expects women to fix about their appearance it is unreal. There is a product for any part of a woman's, and man's body for that matter. Skin, hair, nails, muscles, chest, feet, you name it there is a product to fix it or make it "better". It is unrealistic to feel like one should have to have all of these products all of the time to keep them looking "good enough". Besides, it is expensive at that! But the media wouldn't sell it if women didn't buy into it so it is neither here nor there. Women should take care of themselves, but not let it get to the extreme in my opinion.