Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Walk-In Salon Red Carpet Grand Opening {Brookside}

So over the weekend, I attended the grand opening of Walk-In Salon on Brookside. I was asked a few weeks ago by our family hair stylist Brittany (that makes us sounds so hip and trendy, but we're really nerds), if I wouldn't mind being one of the local photographers that night.  When she asked me, I was immediately excited and SUPER nervous. I confirmed with her that she knew I didn't have a long resume of experience, but she had seen some of my photos on Facebook and decided to give me a call. 

I immediately contacted those I knew in the photography industry pleading, "HELP! I'm new I don't know what to do!"  Luckily, they expressed compassion for their needy friend and gave me a few pointers. 

I ended up renting the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and Speedlite 580 ex II.  I had never used an external flash, but after using it, I didn't want to send it back.  I was shocked how it changed the look of the photos. 


So I headed out that night...my husband felt the need to take a picture :)


Here are a few photos from the event

The man on the right is Robert Cromeans, the global artistic director for Paul Mitchell.  He made an appearance...you know, it being one of his salons and all :)  He appeared to be very friendly and engaging taking photos with just about anyone who wanted one. 

To the right is Brittany - our family hair dresser :)  She's always super nice and patient with Christian, which tends to be a roller coaster of emotions when he arrives.  First the tears, then the lollipop, and finally contentment.  When we leave for his hair appointment, I say to him, "It's time to go see the lady with the pretty pictures on her skin!" 

From what I heard, this sunshine of curls took around 5 1/2 hours to accomplish. I think there are a lot of under appreciated professions in this world - hair stylist is one of them.  You're altering someones hair, their appearance...you kinda need to know what you're doing.  Just sayin....so when you think the final cost of your cut and color are a bit pricey, look in the mirror.  Do you like it?  Does it make you feel spicy?  Then it was worth it.  :)

My favorite part about this event was how much fun everyone was.  I loved all the colorful hair and tattoos....and smiles!  No one really shied away from the camera and I really appreciated that. 

I found out later through Facebook that the above beauty is Natalie Mizz Moneii Nicole.  She is a self proclaimed visionary/entrepreneur.  She has amazing energy and I love that she makes things happen for herself. 

I still don't know who this is, but I just loved her spirit.  Any time she saw me pointing the camera at her, she would stop talking to whomever and pose, lol.  This happens to be one of my favorites of her :)

All the models were beautifully made up

I love this shot...how the black and whites work together which make the blue in her eyes really pop.  At least that's how I see it...  It's like Blue Steel :)

You almost thought I posed him this way! You've got your primary colors all working together and what a great smile.

You know, there was a brief time my hair was pink :)  It was in college when I didn't work in a office.  If only corporate America preferred a little color from their employees :) 

She's just pretty.

I took over 800 photos, so it'll take me some time to go through them.  I really enjoyed my time at this event. Everyone had a good time and the atmosphere was friendly and inviting.  I loved just walking around looking for a candid shot.  I'm so glad I didn't chicken out! :) 

So yes, everyone go to the Walk-In Salon on Brookside.  They know what they're doing...and they do it all with a smile :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Zuppa Toscana Soup {Olive Garden} - The Best Copy Cat Recipe

So, I'm sure most of you have gone to the Olive Garden around lunch time and ordered the unlimited soup,salad, and bread sticks right?  Well, my soup of choice is always the Zuppa Toscana (Potato Soup).  I mean seriously, I don't even know what other soups they serve. 

A few years ago, I found this perfect copy cat recipe and I thought I would share.  It's super easy to make.

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes sliced in half and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1/2 (or more) can. Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Bits (or real bacon if you prefer)
  • 2 cloves garlic,  minced
  • 2 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard (if anything it adds some color)
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Break up the sausage a bit and place in the oven at 300-degrees for approximately 1/2 hour; drain excess oil on paper towels and cut into slices. One time I forgot to drain the excess oil and it all settled on top of the soup.  So drain as much as you can. 

Take the onions, chicken broth, water, and garlic and combine in a large pot on medium heat until potatoes are done.  Then you will add the cooked sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper (to taste) and let that simmer for another 10 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low and add the kale and cream.  Heat and serve :)

Now unlike the Olive Garden soup, you can always add a little more sausage and/or potatoes to make it hardier. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weekly Recap - Girls Night Out + 3 Spontaneous Friends = Matching Tattoos

Spontaneous...Hasty whatever :)  Around Thursday night the girls and I were texting back and forth on what we should do for our Saturday night out.  We mentioned before we should all go get another tattoo, but it wasn't until I said, " Let's all get Matching tattoos"  that plans became more permanent.  Surprisingly, it didn't take us days to figure out what we would all agree upon.  I remembered the saying, "Birds of a feather flock (or fly depending on how you've heard it) together."  I thought that described us the best.  The 3 of us have been through it all and granted we all come from drastically different backgrounds, we happen to be more alike then you would think.  My friendship with them is easy - no drama. We build each other up and I know they will always have my back - whether it be a good decision or bad ...and there have been a lot of bad decisions, LOL :)

We went to Spaded & Jaded Tattoos.  The tattoo artist, Pierre, is also the owner and a friend of Jill's.  The shop was what you would expect from most tattoo establishments as in decor and music - but I was very impressed with the time and preparation that went into our tattoos.  It was very clean, hygienic, and everyone was super professional.  Here is the link to their facebook site: Spaded & Jaded Tattoo Co

Oh and I wanted that Dyson fan in the back :)

I absolutely love my tattoo.  We all got variations of the this - our feathers are slightly different, but the birdies match.  Jill's is on her hip and Casey's is on the back of her neck. 

The rest of my week was pretty low key.  We visited family, took random pictures, and I worked on a tshirt quilt that is now finished.  It's the biggest quilt I've ever made and I actually succeeded in free motion quilting that thing on my little 'o sewing machine - it's between a full and queen size. 

We visited Grandma and Grandpa Ted. Christian loves his great grandparents.  They have this nice big backyard that he loves to play Frisbee with grandpa Ted on.  Matt wanted to match the photo on the left of him and Ted with Christian.  :)

Christian and I had some silly moments.  I recently got the new iPhone, so he LOVES being able to see himself on the screen when I take a picture. 

I don't even know what to say with this one.  The photo when he was 3 months old was completely by luck...he just happened to get his finger in there and it hasn't been until recently he has picked this delightful habit back up...like most parents, I blame it all on OTHER children at daycare :) LOL.  I'm constantly saying, "Get your finger out of your nose!"  I just love when he comes up to me with a fresh booger on the tip of his finger and says, "Ewwww."

These are some random Instagram shots.  1. Just me. 2. A family crossing through the gas station.  3.  Christian's love affair with corn on the cob....this was taken 15 minutes before bedtime.  4.  Christian and Matt riding around in Grandpa Ted's '53 Buick Roadmaster.  Yes, he's not in a car seat, but we just went around the block.  As soon as he got out, he said, "More!"  This little boy loves his cars. 

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