Yesterday Jessica and I had the opportunity to take maternity photographs for a very dear friend of ours. As a general rule, I know virtually nothing about the mechanics of photography. I’ve never taken a class, and while I regularly cruise the Digital Photography School, I can’t really say it’s more than a hobby. It’s a hobby I got into only a few years ago as I really started to travel. I figured if I was going to be traveling so much, I should at least do myself the favor and start taking semi-decent photographs of all the cool things I was seeing. After all, it would be a shame to try to take a picture of the Sphinx, and accidentally get just my thumb instead.

I get excited to try new things with my camera. With a bit of arm twisting, we got our friends to pose for these photos. While I’ll never have “the perfect shot” my sharpness will never be spot on, and I’ll never be sure if I’m using quite the right lens, this is a hobby that continually allows me to grow and create.

And if every once in a while, I can take a photo or two that makes a friend smile, I’m perfectly happy with that.


Marbleized Manicure: First Attempt

I should never be allowed to have free time. When I have free time, I spend it pouring over the different craft ideas on Pinterest, and attempting them on my own.

I was shockingly productive today, and did nearly everything on my to-do list, so I decided to spend the night catching up on old episodes of Weeds, and attempting to give myself a marbleized manicure–something that has been on my Pinterest to-do list for a while now. The process is shockingly easy if you’re patient, and I think with a few more attempts I’ll have it nailed down. It’s definitely a fun task for a lazy night.

I used the tutorial here. This is going to be my fun nail polish for all the upcoming holidays. I think black, silver & white will look pretty fantastic for Halloween.

Traveling Home: Philadelphia

I’m just hours away from heading to New Jersey for what feels like the hundredth time in the past few weeks. Even though I am biased, I feel like this is the best reason ever to make that drive (ugh Maryland traffic)–my mom is getting married!

My Mom and Mike have been together for the best part of a decade, and are amazing together. I am impossibly excited for them, especially since this exact same weekend last year I was heading back to NJ for Mike’s surgery for prostate cancer. This will be an infinitely better Fall Break.

On Saturday 50 of my mom’s and Mike’s nearest and dearest will gather in Philadelphia to celebrate.

Mom asked me to put together a list of my favorite places in Old City just in case people wanted to go out and celebrate later after the official celebration. Here are just a few of my Philadelphia favorites.

My two big favorites right now in Old City are Swanky Bubbles and Farmicia. Swanky is an old favorite of mine. I love their ridiculously girlie drinks that contain things like lychee and chocolate. Farmicia is a new favorite. I love the food here, and the drinks so far have been fun and delicious. I’m excited to see what else they do with the space.

Another old favorite is The Continental. When I lived in Philadelphia, this was one of the regular places for my friends and me. The martini menu is huge, and bartenders were cute. What more could you want?

A newer favorite is National Mechanics. It’s big and dark and kind of funky, plus they have 34 different beers on their beer menu. Again, what’s not to love?

Other standard favorites are Cuba Libre, and Revolution House. Cuba Libre has to die for mojitos, and Revolution House has a really spectacular happy hour.

So those are some of my Philadelphia favorites, and this weekend I get to see some of my favorite people there. I can’t wait!

Banned Book Week

I love that I live in a town that has a place where people can express themselves. The Freedom Wall on the downtown mall is a place where anyone can write a message or draw a picture. Mostly the messages are positive, or a collection of names, but sometimes the messages are vulgar and offensive. Yet the wall still stands. As it should.

I was so happy to see the above drawing on the wall this morning (and even more impressed that it survived a Friday night) for Banned Book Week.

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. ~Heinrich Heine, Almansor, 1823

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
~Alfred Whitney Griswold