Orlando Vacation 2k13: What I Saw

Hey everyone!! Thanks for bearing with the long posts! Believe it or not, this post is going to be even longer! I took a ton of pics while I was there, mostly of the beautiful scenery and weather and also of some cool stuff that I saw. I’m so excited to show you everything!!

Before I get started though I just thought I’d let you know that it actually rained a lot of the time I was there. I was very bummed out about it but it finally cleared up and the sun was shining by Sunday! We tried to spend time outside on Sunday and Monday to soak up some vitamin D and put some damn color on my pasty skin ;) It worked because naturally I had a sunburn within an hour, lol!

Anyway, here we go!

I saw these ADORABLE owl mugs at JFK while I was waiting to board my flight. I was a good girl and exercised some good self control by not getting it… but you better believe I thought about it! ;)

This photo is for Shen who requested a lizard pic! There were TONS of lizards crawling around on the screen but this cute little guy happened to be inside! He was backlit so it turned into a cool silhouette pic.

I think you can see it a little bit but one day when we went out the clouds had a rainbow thing going on! It was so pretty and I was actually shocked that it came out in the pic! It was so bright out (there’s an Instagram effect on it but it was very bright!) I didn’t think I’d be able to catch it but there it is!

Sunday was probably my favorite day :) It was absolutely gorgeous outside and we ended up going to the Downtown Orlando Farmer’s Market at Lake Eola. It was one of the best farmer’s markets I’ve ever been to! They had a ton of food vendors as one would expect but they also had an abundance of artists, jewelry makers, etc. I LOVED that! Here’s a few things I saw:

Check out these gorgeous orchids!! I wanted to get one but I knew it would never survive lol. They were absolutely gorgeous though… probably the most beautiful orchids I’ve ever seen. I love the different colors!

By far my favorite find at the market was an artist named Bianca Roman-Stumpff. Her art is amazing and adorable and she clearly has a sense of humor. She was kind enough to let me take a pic of her display.

You can probably see the art a little better if you click on the pic. As you can see she has TONS of different prints (all of those baskets have tons of different varieties) and it was so hard narrowing it down! I narrowed down to four prints and to be honest I’m probably going to order more from her. If you look at the second panel on the right you’ll see prints of her paintings of TEDDY BEARS DRESSED AS SUPERHEROES!!!!!! Can you deal with how friggin cute those are?! I feel like I’m probably going to order some of those… ;)

This is the print that drew me in to her table to begin with. I can’t deal with the baby ninja turtles. This is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in my life. She told me about how people would take pics of the prints and print those and I think that’s really messed up so I tried to take it at a bit of an angle so people won’t be able to do it with this pic but I really really really wanted to show it to you!

I loved her skull prints as well so I decided to get three of them to put together as a series. Aren’t they cool?! She is so talented! I’m a little jealous actually. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to paint and draw well but I can’t so I’ll just continue to buy her work ;) If you are interested in checking out her work you can check her out on Facebook HERE.

After the farmer’s market we took a walk around the lake since the weather was so beautiful. It’s not a terribly huge lake by any means so it didn’t take long. Like an idiot I forgot to take pics of the lake which is sad because it has a nice view of downtown.

The following day, Monday, was my last day in Orlando. Luckily, my flight wasn’t until later on in the day so we had plenty of time to get outside to enjoy the beautiful day. We decided to walk around a different lake, Lake Baldwin, which is much larger. I think the walk is just short of three miles. Check out some of the gorgeous scenery!

This was a gorgeous alley of trees that we walked through. It was so pretty I had to take a pic :)

As you can see it was an absolutely perfect day.

There is a dog park along the lake with a dock right next to it. We had walked out on the dock and I took this pic toward the dog park. You can’t really see it but it was really cute! Lots of picnic tables and people hanging out. We decided that we are going to do a picnic there the next time I’m in town.

Lots of blue!!

I thought these trees were cool and the sky was so beautiful behind them. It was seriously a perfect day.

This last picture is probably one of my favorite “found moments” I’ve ever photographed. Coincidently, this was the first time I ever bothered to do the whole airplane mode thing with my phone (usually I just keep it off but I used it to listen to a podcast this time) and it was the perfect trip to do so! I looked out the window and saw a perfect heart in the clouds! Do you see it? I love this picture so much. It was the perfect way to end a great trip.

So there you have it! My trip summed up into two ginormous posts ;) I hope you all enjoyed the recap, I had fun writing it! Hope you are all having a great week!

Grocery Haul

Hey everyone! Hope you are all staying warm and dry. It warmed up here for a minute and it’s back to being freezing with random snow. It’s actually snowing now.. or like a wintery mix kind of thing. Very strange lately!

I actually took this picture last Saturday when it randomly started snowing like crazy. It is what I see when I go to the studio door and look left lol. I thought it looked kind of cool :)

So anyway, today I woke up and made a very early trip to the grocery store. However, I decided to go to forego Whole Foods this week and make a trip to Fairway instead. Partially because it’s closer and partially because I thought a change of scenery would be nice. I love Whole Foods but I thought I’d change it up this week :)

Some half sour pickles, frozen pineapple chunks (I’ve been craving a Good Morning, Sunshine Smoothie like crazy!), broccoli, sliced shiitake mushrooms, a head of garlic (hidden) and some zucchinis.

Fresh almond butter, maple sugar (first place I’ve seen it, had to get it!), brown rice pasta, Ezekiel Bread (thought I’d give it a try to see how my body reacts to it), stuffed grape leaves (!!! been a while!) and some brown rice tortillas.

I went to my dentist today and he told me that he doesn’t feel I need a root canal just yet. He said that the cavity was deep and there is a pinpoint sized exposure of the nerve, but since I’m not in pain except for once in a while when I bite down the wrong way he thinks that it will heal up on it’s own. He said that it has only been a week and it may still just be irritated so that is pretty great news!

If you haven’t already done so, check out the Vegan Delish Giveaway I’m hosting! You have until Wednesday to enter :)

That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with some food. You better believe it’ll include some stuffed grape leaves and pickles ;)

Have a great night my friends!

Some Photography

Hey guys! I know I said I’d be back with a meal but instead I bring you something (or someone) MUCH cuter! As I mentioned yesterday I did a baby shoot today and I thought I’d show you a couple of shots! Baby shoots are not my strength so I am posting the best shots I got. There aren’t a lot but these few came out pretty cute :)

Isn’t he absolutely adorable?! He is such a sweetie, it was definitely nice to finally meet and photography him :)

That’s all for today! Short and sweet post :) I’ll be back tomorrow with some food… I am planning on giving my dehydrator a workout! Have a great night!

Work Work Work

Hey everyone! I’m really sorry about my absence over the past few days and what will be more absence over the next few days. I started a bit of a working spree on Sunday with a wedding. Worked in the studio on Monday then yesterday I worked 9-5 in the studio then had a shoot until 11:45 that night. I left my house at 8:30 am and got home at 1 am. That’s a long day lol.

I don’t have much food to show you but I figured I’d supplement it with some cool photos I took last night. I should be back with some food on Friday. Sorry for the brief hiatus but I have weddings today and tomorrow too.

It was a long day yesterday but I was rewarded with the following views :)

Cool silhouette shot of the skyline.

Night time shot with the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building to the left. Check out how pretty the sky is too.

The bridge on the right. We were right under it. Such a beautiful location.
Not a bad night at the office! Tonight I’ll be working a wedding near the beach on the 4th of July. I’m anticipating it being ridiculously hot and hitting a lot of traffic. Hopefully I’ll be able to see cool fireworks at least!
OK that’s all for today. Hope you have a great 4th of July! Can’t wait to see all of the festive meals you are eating!

Mellow Monday

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I’m completely exhausted today. Yesterday was a really long day at work and I ended up getting home at 1. I didn’t fall asleep until 2 and I woke up at 7 for work this morning. I luckily had a short day today because I am so exhausted I can barely focus. I’m hoping to take a nap before I have my training session tonight.
I’ve been to lazy to take photos of my food today so I figured I’d show you some of my favorite shots from yesterday. As an assistant I have the freedom to play and experiment because I guess technically my photos are a bonus for the bride and groom. If something doesn’t come out it’s not make or break for the job. Yesterday my focus was on lighting because they had amazing lighting in the sanctuary and the reception room. Flash can often wash out uplighting so you need to really understand your settings in order to capture the ambiance of the room. My goal was to get some great natural light ceremony shots (achieved with a high ISO and video light) and to maintain the ambiance of the room with flash during the reception.
The sanctuary was really beautiful with gorgeous carvings and wood. It was elaborately decorated with flowers and trees (the chupah) and pretty lighting. This was shot with natural light with the help of a video light.
I went up to the balcony to get this shot looking down. You can see the chupah better in this shot. Huge bridal party!
This shot is my favorite of the night! They had someone playing percussion along with the DJ. I got this silhouette of him and I love it :)
You can really see the uplighting of the reception room in this one. Lots of purple!
The sanctuary and downstairs looked like a traditional, beautiful temple. The reception area upstairs had a lounge feel too it with a red hallway and some beautiful murals. The cocktail room looked like a club/lounge with big couches and chairs and the reception space was nicer that some of the catering halls I’ve been to! By far the coolest temple I’ve ever been to!
We were in Coney Island to start the day and that was rough. It was hot and we were running around and everything was late and parking was a nightmare. Traffic was crazy too. I’m glad the weekend is over and I’m ready for my well deserved nap ;)
I hope you all had a great weekend!

Lots of Veggies and Another Dehydrator Experiment!

Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your kind comments yesterday :) It made me happy to read them after a long day of work :) The wedding went well yesterday, we just ended up being so far from home that I got home an hour and a half after we left the hall! It didn’t help that I was at the gym by 7:45 am yesterday to get in a pre-wedding workout in. I did 45 minutes of intervals on the arc trainer (no impact cardio when I work 12 hour days) and I rowed an 8 minute mile. I have no idea of that is good or not but I plan on continuing to do a little rowing to hopefully help strengthen my shoulders/upper body.

Like I mentioned yesterday, since starting this cleanse I’ve been craving fruits and veggies like crazy! I eat them like it’s my job! Yesterday I enjoyed some yummy fresh fruit during cocktail hour and they were nice enough to make me a special vegan dinner. It was a MOUNTAIN of veggies cooked in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. It was the most delicious meal I’ve ever had at a wedding. It was just so much though. I ate 1/4 of it and there was still a mountain on there! I was very happy though! I wish I had gotten a pic!

Today I woke up craving veggies and water. I tend to get dehydrated when I work and I usually am good about drinking water but not so much yesterday. I’ve been drinking a ton of it today though!

For lunch today I really wanted veggies and I wanted pizza. So I ended up making one of the healthiest pizzas you can probably eat.

Isn’t it pretty? ;) I used a gf tortilla as the crust, added some organic, all natural sauce, lots of spinach and zucchini and 1/4 cup of Daiya Mozzarella. After it came out of the oven I sprinkled it with garlic powder. So good and no need to feel guilty! I think Kris Carr would approve of this pizza :)
We are going to my brother’s house for dinner tonight and since they are having a meaty BBQ I’ll be eating a chopped salad for dinner. More veggies, this time raw :)
Here is a teaser of the dehydrator recipe I’m testing today! It is making the entire house smell amazing! I have a good feeling about this one. Recipe tomorrow!
Finally, I just wanted to share my favorite picture from last night! I got bored during the reception so I decided to go outside and play with long exposures and nighttime photos. My night photography is pretty weak so I wanted to play and I got this shot that I love! The hall is on the right, the water on the left. The bride and groom brought Bocce balls and had done a few photos with them and left it on the lawn when they were done.  I think it adds to the pic :) The pic is a little soft since it was such a long exposure but it’s not too bad. And I actually didn’t touch the color or enhance it at all, that’s what the sky looked like out of the camera! So pretty! Oh and it is shot with a Fish-Eye lens that I borrowed from the other photographer.
I hope that you are all having a great Sunday so far! I’m going to try and take a nap before we go to my brother’s house. I’m so tired! I woke up early to get to Whole Foods so between the long day of work in the heat yesterday and not getting much sleep I could use a rest day :) Assuming I can get my butt out of bed tomorrow morning I’ll be starting my morning running tomorrow! 
Have a great evening!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 16

Hey everyone! I can’t believe I’ve already made it to Day 16 of this cleanse! I feel like it has gone really quickly! I am excited and feel like it has been really successful in terms of how I feel and also in how I’ve experimented with creating new meals and not getting stuck in a rut.

The wedding went by pretty quickly yesterday. I was working with two photographers yesterday and ended up carrying all of their stuff. One bag was at least 40-50 lbs alone, then I had two other smaller bags to carry. Needless to say my shoulders and back are feeling a bit jacked up today but I was able to rest and hopefully I’ll be ok for my training session tomorrow. They had a great party though so the time went quickly! They were standing on chairs and jumping off speakers, it was hilarious! Cocktail hour wasn’t as good as the last time I was at this hall but I still had some fruit and they had stuffed grape leaves! Score!

I woke up at about 7:15 today (after not so much sleep) and decided that it was a gorgeous morning and I’d be silly if I skipped the farmers market to stay in bed. I dragged my ass out of bed and drove about 30 minutes to the market. I made today a rest day for working out but still decided to park on the other side of town so I’d get a nice walk in. The weather was so perfect this morning I’m so glad I did that. We had a bit of a sun shower this afternoon though, more on that later ;)

The market was much bigger than last year, some more vendors must have signed up. There were still only 2 produce vendors but they had some more bakery type stalls, some with home made spreads, one with aromatherapy type stuff which was vegan friendly and smelled so good (I’m going to get something next time) and some other ones. The produce stalls had the same stuff too so I went to the one with a slightly better selection and picked up a few goodies!

Some baby bok choy (!!!), a big bag of mesclun greens, a big ol’ carton of strawberries, some sugar snap peas and some new dill pickles from the pickle vendor!
I had a really lovely morning. The best part was that I was home by 10! I was able to load up my dehydrator for the first time and then relax for the rest of the day. More on the dehydrator later ;)

For breakfast I had my non-smoothie breakfast for the week :) Banana with raw pecan butter, raisins and cinnamon with some farmer’s market strawberries! Yum! 

For lunch I had these gorgeous spring rolls I picked up from the Wild By Nature that is by the Farmers Market. I figured I deserved to eat a meal I didn’t have to prepare ;) So good! This had rice paper, lettuce, cucumber, carrots and avocado. There was a Thai Chili Sauce but I didn’t eat it because it contained wheat. I don’t really like sauces on my spring rolls or sushi anyway though…except peanut sauce. Yum. I ate 2 of the 3 pieces and figured the other would be great as a quick snack!
Dinner is an uninspired plate of carrots, stuffed grape leaves, hummus and Farmers Market pickles. Good but nothing interesting. I think a headache and fatigue won this battle. 
I didn’t eat too much during the day because my appetite was a bit low and I was feeling a bit headachey so I knew dessert would be in order tonight. It is pretty hot here so I wanted something cold so what better way to end a day than with some icy, sweet frozen fruit! I have a few frozen grapes mixed with some frozen pineapple (anti-inflammatory food!). It’ll be the perfect sweet dessert. It’s a bit icy but I’m ok with that ;) That’s on tap for a bit later!
I became incredibly aware that my nails needed to be done immediately so in honor of the last week of my cleanse I decided to “go green.” ;) I have since cleaned them up around the edges.
Check out this double rainbow I saw outside my window after a brief sun shower! You can only see the second one in the upper right corner of the photo but it was so pretty!
I took my dehydrator out for a test drive but it’s still going after almost 8 hours! I’ll have to show you what I made tomorrow!
Yikes, this is a long post :) Hope you all had a great weekend! I’m not going to lie, I could totally go for another day off :X Have a great evening!

Fun Friday: Summer List!

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I hope your week has treated you well and you are all ready for the weekend! I have one more day of work to go until I get to my day off and I can’t wait for Sunday! I’m still planning on waking up really early and taking a nice 30 minute drive to the opening day of one of our Farmers Markets! Assuming I can get up of course. Today I did some more running and I’m feeling really good about it. Starting to build distance. I should be back up to my two miles in a week or two hopefully! I’ll also start to strength train after my runs. Gotta get that upper body super strong for all the climbing I’m going to be doing! Who knows, maybe if I can get my arms all buff I’ll have a reason to start a half sleeve tattoo ;)

OK so for today’s Fun Friday I was inspired by Ingrid’s Summer List that she posted a few days ago! Summers are really busy for me because of the wedding season, so I think it is really important to make this list because it will be a constant reminder for me to take the time to do things for myself. It is the best way to keep my sanity, my motivation and my happiness going when things get crazy.

Here’s the list!

I’m sure it is obvious that Tough Mudder training is on the list. Running, strength training, endurance are all on the list. My nutrition goals are also tied in to Tough Mudder training.
Spend more time on the beach. I realized this past weekend when we were on the beach for the portraits how much I love the beach and how genuinely happy I was for the 30 minutes we were there. My absolute favorite time to go is first thing in the morning before anyone is awake. I like to watch the surfers and soak it all in and leave before the crowds get there. 
Go to the farmer’s market more! I usually only go a few times every season because ours is so small. I should try and seek out larger ones and start buying locally grown produce. I chose this image because it is what I wish my farmer’s market looked like! I really wish I had access to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market I went to in Florida. It was so amazing.
Experiment with my dehydrator! I finally got it after lusting after it for at least a year so I need to make sure I get use out of it! I’m going to dehydrate everything in sight ;)
Eat mostly beautiful, raw foods. I have been feeling amazing on this cleanse (day 14 today!) and I want to keep it going so I’m going to try and maintain a mostly raw diet as a lifestyle instead of a cleanse. It’ll be a little more lenient than the cleanse but I’ll be following the same principles :)  
Be creative and crafty and complete more DIY projects. First up is this beachy hair spray! 
Finally (for now), I’d like to try and create more recipes. I feel like most of the food I eat is simple and I never write a recipe for anything because I feel like it doesn’t need one. In reality, I should be writing down recipes because it’s probably not as obvious as I think it is? And I figured I’d start off on this by including a recipe for you today! This is a recipe for my breakfast Carrot Cake Smoothie (pictured above). I’ve tried many Carrot Cake Smoothies but decided it was time to make my own!
Carrot Cake Smoothie!
1/4 cup oats (I used gf)
3/4 cup plant milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk), plus a few tbsps
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
pumpkin pie spice to taste
1 giant carrot or 2 small carrots, grated
1 serving vanilla protein powder (I used Vanilla Almondilla Vega Energizing Smoothie Powder)*
As much ice as you like (you could probably also use a frozen banana!)
1. The night before, combine oats, milk, raisins, walnuts and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Mix and cover and place in fridge overnight. 
2. Put contents of bowl in blender and add protein powder, carrots and ice (or banana).
3. Blend until smooth and add plant milk until you reach desired consistency. I added 2 tbsp.
4. Enjoy!
*I use the Vega Energizing smoothie powder because it has 2 servings of greens in it :) No spinach required in this one!
OK that’s all for today! I will try to post something tomorrow before I leave for the long day of work. Tomorrow also officially starts the third week of my cleanse :) Home stretch my friends! 
I hope that you all enjoy your Friday evening! 

Green Everywhere!

Hey everyone! Hope that you all had a great Saturday/St. Patrick’s Day! It was such a lovely day today it totally lifted my spirits :) I started off my day with an hour of cardio at the crack of dawn. It felt good and I was glad that I got out of bed and did it. My intention was to go to work but I decided that it was too nice to spend the day inside when I didn’t really have to.

My friend asked me to do a quick maternity portrait session for her today so I went over there and took some pictures of her and her husband. After that I decided to take a ride out to Whole Foods and enjoy the weather for a bit. There is nothing like driving around with the windows down on a beautiful spring day. It even made the horrific traffic a little more bearable :)

So as I mentioned yesterday, my plan was to eat all green food today. I think I was pretty successful! Check it out!

Green smoothie after my workout for breakfast. This one is a Banana Berry Smoothie! Frozen strawberries and blueberries, a small banana, almond milk, Vanilla Almondilla Shake and Go Powder, lots of spinach. Delicious!

S&M salad for lunch! Greens, nori, hemp seeds, and avocado dressed with some lemon juice. Very delicious.

A green snack was difficult but I ended up eating some Veggie Booty. A little processed food once in a while is totally ok in my book :)
Dinner was a spinach and Daiya quesadilla. I was going to put more avocado on top to make it even more green but decided against it because the cheese would make it rich enough and I wasn’t super hungry.
I mentioned my backpacking adventure yesterday and FF asked if I had any photos. Unfortunately I have no idea where they are, this is the only file I could find! It is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. It is out of the window of the Louvre in Paris and it is blurry but I feel like that makes it look like a painting :) I love this shot.
I’d say mission accomplished! This was fun :) I’m not going to lie I’m still feeling a bit lethargic so I’m looking forward to a relaxing evening at home. I’m glad I went to Whole Foods today because now I can just relax tomorrow morning and not rush out of bed.
Hope you all had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Can’t wait to see what you all ate :)

Photo Shoot!

Hey everyone! Sorry for the brief hiatus but Thursday was a pretty uninspired day and I ended up working a wedding yesterday and was out all day until late. I’ll post a catch up post tomorrow :)

Last night I saw a post by a friend on Facebook asking if anyone had a camera that would take high resolution photos. I knew he was selling his car so I offered to do the shoot for him. I guess I’m just nice like that ;) I knew the perfect location for it too so today after I got out of work we went and I took pics of his car for about an hour or so. I’m really happy with how they turned out and decided I’d like to share them with you!

It started to flurry in the middle of the shoot! I was SOOOO cold!

This was actually a detail shot to show the scratches on the bumper or whatever it is (not a car person obviously) but I LOVED the way this angle looked!

You can really see the flurries here!

Cool angle with the graffiti wall in the background.

I took a shot at getting this lens flare and it worked out really well. This may be my favorite shot. Look at how sunny it got after the brief snow!
Against the train tracks.

He had asked me if there was a way I could get a shot of the car with the train blurred in the background when it passed by. I told him I could sure as hell try. I wasn’t expecting it to come out as well as it did so I’m pretty excited about this shot too!
So that’s the best of the best. There were a lot of small detail shots because he is trying to sell it but I actually had a lot of fun with the shoot. He has a lot of friends that are major car guys that he said will probably be interested in doing a shoot after they see these so it may end up being a great way to stay busy and working/shooting during the winter!
I hope you all have had a great weekend so far! I’ll be back tomorrow to post some meals from the past few days!