Monday, May 30, 2011

Celebrating 4 Years

Tom and I just celebrated out 4th anniversary!
We're on a tight budget so I told him we couldn't spend any money on gifts this year.
I know, I'm no fun.

But he's a rebel and still bought me these flowers.
I gave him grief about spending money, but secretly I was thrilled.
They are so gorgeous!
I smile every time I look at them.

I stuck to our zero dollar budget and made Tom a card with craft supplies I already had.
I'm not very creative, so I get a lot of inspiration from this blog.
If you click the link, you'll see the card I used as my starting place.
I don't have the man and woman stamps, so I drew them freehand and cut them out.

Turns out, I impress myself sometimes.
The chain was all my idea.
I knew Tom would love that.

This is what the inside looks like:
Again, made with supplies and a picture I already had.
(The picture was taken in Chicago on our honeymoon. That's why I look so skinny.)
I also blurred out my love note for Tom in this picture. No one wants to read that. *wink*

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This is how you throw a Fondue Party.

Every month my three best Utah friends and I (with our husbands) get together for a dinner party!
I say "best Utah friends" because I don't want to offend my best friends back home and because these girls will give me crap if I don't give them the title they deserve.

This is our fourth dinner party, but my first time hosting.
The host gets to decide the "theme" of the party and then we all coordinate what to bring.

I decided to throw a FONDUE dinner party!

This is Gaby at the cheese fondue, our appetizer.
This was Ashley's contribution. She brought the fondue pot, the cheese fondue ingredients (we put it together at my house), and the stuff to dip in the cheese fondue.

Mallory at the cheese fondue.
I don't know if any of us had ever made or even eaten cheese fondue before, but it turned out great! It was so delicious I almost forgot to save room for everything else.

Then we had a fondue pot with peanut oil to cook steak and pork in.
This was what I was in charge of.

There's the meat frying in the fondue pot.
It smelled soooo good!

I also made five dips for the meat fondue.
I knew I wouldn't remember what was what, so I made a little flag for each one.

Mallory was in charge of dessert because she has a chocolate fountain!
Gaby helped bring some fruit and stuff for dipping.
We also had a little fondue pot that we used for white chocolate.

Before we even started eating, Mallory got some chocolate on herself.
Next time, I'm making bibs mandatory.
This is Ashley. She's hiding the chocolate stain on her shirt with her hair.
Mallory and me.
Yes, that's chocolate on her nose.
Mallory and Beck.
Beck's the only child allowed at our dinner parties.
That is, until my friends have more kids.

The husbands enjoying our hard work.
I like this picture because you can see all the fondue pots and the crazy mess we made in my kitchen.

And last, but not least.
A cute picture of Mallory and Beck.
It was too funny not to include.

Tulip Festival

Every year in Ottawa there's a huge tulip festival. There are tulips ALL over downtown.
Utah has a tulip festival too, but it's only at one location.

These are the pictures I took at Utah's Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point.
It was a fun date, but it made me kinda homesick.

We snuck Yoda into the tulip festival.

This is the first picture where I've experimented with a white vignette. I like it and think I'll be using it more often.

Below is the same picture without the vignette so you can compare.
This was a cool-looking structure.
But the coolest part about it is the pictures you can get when you shoot straight into to the sky.

I took this picture and turned it into two more while playing with it Photoshop.
The End.

Tell me which picture you like best.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Unintentional Prank

My hubby left these cookies on the kitchen table yesterday.
When I got home from work I did what any normal person would do and I ate one.
When Tom got home hours later he said, "Oh by the way, don't eat those cookies on the table."
I said: "Oh, oops!"
Tom: "Did you eat one?"
Lesli: "Yeah."
Tom: "They're dog biscuits!!"
(Tom proceeds to laugh hysterically.)

I completely blame Tom for this one. I mean, they look like cookies right? They're even cream filled!
They didn't taste good, but they weren't disgusting either. I just thought it was a bad no-name cookie with a hint of peanut butter.

I know I need to learn to laugh at myself, so I posted the picture and what happened on Facebook.
Bad idea.
I've been the brunt of several jokes today at work.
The best one probably came from my boss.
One of the first things he did today was bring me a bowl of water and place it on the floor beside beside my desk.
Later, he reminded my coworker to take me for a afternoon walk.

I'm so mad, I could bite them all.

But, Tom is lucky and will get off the hook because because today is our 4th anniversary.
As a present, I've decided to forgive him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Ultimate Photography Prop

I'm just starting to get into photography props.
One of the trends right now is using vintage chairs outside.
Like here and here.
So I'm going to try it out.
I started looking on classifieds for vintage chairs and look what I found in less than a day!

The ugliest, most beautiful chair EVER!
And the best part?
It was FREE!!!
All I had to do was go pick it up!
I'm soooooo lucky!

The lovely lady in the pictures is my friend Gaby.
She came with me to pick up the chair.

Yeah, that's right.
We didn't need a MAN to pick up a piece of furniture.
(Mostly because my man was at a conference and couldn't help me, but still...)

We took these pictures in my front yard. There's a huge empty lot beside my house with a farm on the other side. Yoda sneaked into this picture. But it's okay because he's adorable.

Seriously though, I can't WAIT to use this in a photoshoot.
Let me know if you want to be the FIRST to shoot with this amazing piece of furniture!
It would be perfect for babies, couples, seniors (high school seniors for my Canadian friends).
Hey, we could even do a photoshoot with your pet and it would be adorable!
Send me a note at my new photography e-mail:

On another note, I'm trying new things with Photoshop. The first picture has a green filter on it. The second has a sepia filter and I added noise to make it look older.
This is my first time rounding the corners of my pictures too. I'm really digging that look.
Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Preggo Shoot

(I've had the same background on my blog for over a year, so I decided to try out a new one.
Of course it still needed to have pink.
And I'm currently a little obsessed with feathers.)

Two of my best friends are pregnant right now.
And both just happen to be GORGEOUS!
The perfect recipe for a super-fun photo shoot!

This is Ashley. She's due in August.

This is Mallory. I don't remember when she's due, but it's far away.
We're going to take a picture of her in the same dress every month of her pregnancy.
This is the first picture, obviously.

Here are some more pictures of Ashley.
This is her "Kendra" face.
If you don't know who I'm referring to, good.
Consider yourself pure.

Love the backlighting in these pictures.

Another "Kendra" face. ;)

Ashley looking HAWT!
Don't I have stylish friends?

I let the sun do all the work here.

All the pictures in the field were taken at the tail end of the shoot. We were right beside a super busy road trying to avoid getting hit by cars.
But the pictures turned out really nice, so it made risking our lives totally worth it!
Plus a few cars even honked at my pretty friends!

Does Mallory have sexy knees or what!
This is one of my favorite pictures of her EVER.
I wanted it to be perfect so I spent a lot of time editing it.
See if you can find all the edits.
Here's the "raw" photo.

Other than the obvious color and warmth boost, I took out all the holes in the wooden shed behind her and took out the white paint splotches.
I minimized the lines on her face (not that she needed it), and made her right eye a little bigger.
(She's a little sensitive about her right eye. Can you even tell a difference?)

Sun-kissed Mallory.

Field shots of Mallory.
This is my other fav picture of Mallory.
I'm so glad I have stylish friends to teach me a thing or two.

And last but not least, a couple pictures of ME!

These pictures should really say "Ashley Photography."
Ashley has the same camera as me, so I've been teaching her how to take pictures in manual.
While I was taking pictures of Mallory, she captured these action shots of me!
Apparently I take pictures with my mouth open.
Or I may have been talking at the time.

I'm really glad she got this picture of me. It shows off my new camera ring!
They featured it in a segment on Studio 5 about "statement rings".
When I saw it, I HAD to have it. Only $8!!
Can you find it in the segment? You only see it for a second when they show the rings from Urban Blues.