Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Photography

Since our engagement in the summer, my fiance and I have started to get extra excited as the months pass by. Although we have a good while until our wedding month, September 2012, comes, the both of us have eagerly thought of details regarding our day. We are trying to get as many things taken care of since time is on our side to prevent crazy stress-city.

As soon as we became engaged, we quickly tried to find two things: 1) a venue with suitable date and 2) our photographer. However, our route towards booking these two details were a little out of the ordinary compared to most couples and we worked around our photographer's schedule prior to setting a date. Why? It's simply because I fell in love with the work of Stephanie Williams since I first came across her photos about 3 years ago.

Stephanie and her husband, Isaac, work as a team to provide amazing documentation of weddings and other celebrations. Together, they produce photographs that are filled with beautiful luminosity and definitely capture the pure romance, love, and joy from each happy moment.  Additionally, their creative and whimsical work totally connected with our style and personalities. My fiance and I searched for comparable photographers and did find a few we liked, but none that we adored as much. When my future husband described the photos as having "some sort of...magic", I knew we couldn't go with any other artist! 

We are anxiously looking forward to our engagement photo session in the spring and for Stephanie to capture the first day we stand together as husband and wife in the fall!

Both of us knew that finding the perfect photographer was going to make the wedding even more special. The photos and memories within them are going to last forever! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Tidbits

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a restful weekend. I definitely did and I am so excited that the relaxation will continue after just one more day of work-- Thanksgiving, here I come. :) 

Some weekend tidbits, in order from left to right: 1) The sweetest date at Tuli Bistro featuring a pumpkin and proscuitto pizza and lamb briyani ravioli 2) A lovely set of classic and must-read worthy cookbooks 3) Ellie's friendly and big ol' nose greeting me alongside Saturday morning's sunrise 4)The best-ever mocha blanc made with white chocolate ganache 5) A simple Sunday lunch including brie, red pear, turkey, and honey paninis and 6) A festive batch of homemade maple pumpkin cupcakes with maple-ginger frosting topped off with cinnamon and spice macron crumbles.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who I Want to Be

A woman with poise and class. Elegant yet quirky. On a path filled with continual growth and learning. Courageous and confident to take risks. A cup that will overflow with positivity. Eclectic. Adventurous. Productive. Proactive. Capable to turn trials around. Determined to look for the greener side of things. Feminine yet a little rough around the edges. Slow to anger, quick to forgive. The type of person who leaves meaningful impressions on the lives of others. A woman you can count on to make you smile, give you support, and give you hugs. A woman who you can count on to be realistic and honest. The kind of person with pretty dresses? Yes, please. The girl with cute shoes-- always. A woman who knows what she wants and remembers to stay true to herself and her beliefs as she works towards anything. Patient. Strong. Secure. Someone who remembers to r-e-l-a-x.

The kind of woman who shows love in everything she does. A bride. Wife. Mother. Faithful sister and daughter. A life partner filled with reasonableness, support, an open mind, and a warm heart. A wife who will work for her marriage and never give up. Nurturing and generous. Loving and compassionate. Responsible and assertive.  A wife and mother you can turn to. Someone who brings out the best in her husband. Someone who shares her emotions. The kind of person who always make the best chocolate chip cookies. Someone who values Saturday morning pancake breakfasts. Best-ever-hostess. A cleaner. An organizer. A fun date! 

A friend you can count on. A shoulder you can cry on. Someone who will bring you food-- just because. Spontaneous. Genuine and true. Loyal. The kind of friend who will always have a cold beer in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer, and a cheesy chick-flick available. Someone who you can call in the middle of the night. A good shopping buddy. A better chit-chat buddy. Encouraging and reliable. Ready to help you see error in your ways, but eager to help you change for the better. Someone who remembers your birthday. Someone who will always shine a smile your way.

A woman who's life is filled with joy. Creative and domestic. Baker and chef. Educator. Teacher. Someone who will live for the simplest pleasures. The kind of person who will always strive to create a life attributed with whimsy, beauty, and refined touches. Someone who will share these parts of her life with the people around her. Someone who lives in a quaint and charming place. Stylish. Humble. Modern. Classic. A healthy eater. A every-once-in-a-while junk food eater. The kind of person who takes care of her body. The kind of person who takes care of her soul. A woman who always wears what she loves. Someone who yearns to learn new tasks and take on new skills.  The kind of person who knows that life is a journey and every experience and person along the way help make it richer. The kind of person who accepts mistakes because she knows they are necessary for success and growth.

And...someone who shows the glory of God in all that she does (1 Cor 10:31). The kind of woman who will put God first and fill her family with reminders of His grace and blessings. A steward. Gracious. Forever thankful. Someone who fears the Lord.

(all images via pinterest)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wear What You Eat

I just saw this amazing and must eat Purple Ombre Cake from Raspberri Cupcakes and was inspired to wear a collected spread of Essie plum ombre colors. Mmm...lovely!

Essie nail colors: 1. Damsel in Distress; 2. Merino Cool; 3. Liliacism; 4. Minimalistic

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shrimp and Chicken Paella

When I think of paella, sadly the first thing that comes to mind is the crummy version of the dish the dining hall used to serve when I was a freshman in college. This is mostly due to that fact that, unfortunately, I never experienced paella till then. I remember feeling extremely unsatisfied and walking over to get a plate of curly fries to fill my hungry and disappointed belly. 

Flash forward a few years and I finally get a taste of the real deal. Perfectly spiced, fluffy, savory, and oh-so-delicious paella from an authentic Spanish restaurant. I immediately became hooked on it! However, truth be told-- I never attempted to make the dish until this past weekend. I know, I am a lame excuse for a true paella lover. 

I followed Ina Garten's recipe for Lobster Paella, but substituted a few ingredients. Instead of lobster, I opted for shrimp (about 1 1/2 lbs; seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, olive oil; roasted in the oven in 375 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes), added chicken (about 1 lb), and used a leaner turkey Kielbasa. The recipe also called for a bit of licorice flavored liqueur, such as Pernod or Absinthe, but I didn't have any available. Also, I was very skeptical at the thought of using such an odd and distasteful flavor. However, several reviewers say that the ingredient does add an incredibly wonderful layer of flavor and perhaps when I have some of the liqueur on hand, I will give it a go. Until then, you just really need to know that the recipe is wonderful as is even without the Pernod.