Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week 52 || Project 52

Yes, you read the title of this blog post right. This is week 52. This is the end of the year in photographs. If this is your first time hearing of the 52 week project, let me help you out! This year I set out on an adventure with several photographers around the nation (& the world!) to take a photograph each week. Now, it doesn't sound like much work, but let me tell you it was! Life happens. Sometimes you let the things you love most go. It was a struggle for me to pick up my camera once a week and photograph something that meant something to me. But...


I'm sad it's over. I'm mostly amazed though. Amazed at the fact that 2012 is over and this project was actually accomplished. I am officially not a quitter. There were weeks when I had absolutely no desire to work on this and weeks when I had too many photos to choose from. But enough with the chatting, let's get to the very last week of Project 52.
The last week of December is the best week of the year. It holds Christmas & a new beginning. This week I woke up for the sun rise [even though the sun didn't really just got light outside] and went on a photo adventure which doesn't happen much anymore. Like I said, life happens and we drop the things we love the most. There were few times that I woke up super early just to take photographs. But there is nothing like those days. Wake up when the fog is still thick and it's still dark outside. Wake up when the birds aren't even chirping and before your alarm clock wakes you. 

A lot of this project meant going back to my roots. The challenge of photographing for the love of it. Not to take photographs of someone's event or a special moment in their life...but to photograph events in my life and special moments in my life. I spent a lot of time this morning looking up. I don't have much interest in what is right in front of me. The roads look plain and the grass is brown. But if I look up I see the way that the little twigs of the trees paint the sky and the birds flying off. 

So that's it. Week 52. The final week of Project 52. 
I kind of don't want this post to end or the project but I know it has to at some point. It's been an incredibly memorable journey. I've been more inspired this year by this project than ever before. To those of you who have been following this project since the  very beginning, THANK YOU. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. To those of you who started reading this that had no idea what this project is about, THANK YOU. It means the world that you read and viewed this. 

Love to all of you.

[p.s. a summarized post on Project 52 will be up in 2013!]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peppermint Bark || Recipes

I love cooking & baking. But I love it even more when it's Christmas. Danish cookies and marzipan, sugar cookies with icing, hot cocoa, peppermint bark. YUM

Today I made peppermint bark. So easy, so affordable and so yummy. It can be quite pricy to buy all that Christmas just make it yourself! 

You will need:
24oz. (2 bags) dark chocolate chips
12oz. (1 bag) white chocolate chips
about 5 candy canes
9x13 pan
wax paper
ziplock bags
mixing bowls

To make:
Before beginning line your pan with wax paper.
Put about half of your dark chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. When chocolate is melted stir in the remaining dark chocolate until combined and melted.
Pour your melted dark chocolate into your lined pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate for about five minutes.
While your dark chocolate is hardening, repeat the same melting process with the white chocolate.
Once your dark chocolate is completely hardened, pour your white chocolate on top and spread evenly. 
Unwrap your desired amount of candy canes and place in a ziplock bag. Seal the bag and crush the candy canes. Don't crush them so much that they are just dust. You want to be able to tell that it's peppermint bark!
Sprinkle your peppermint on top of your still melted white chocolate and refrigerate until hardened.
Once your bark is hardened you should be able to pull the wax paper right out of the pan with your bark. You can cut your bark into pieces but I recommend putting it in another ziplock bag and just dropping it on your counter to break it up.
Package it up in nice tins as gifts or just enjoy it for yourself :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 51 || Project 52

1 week left of Project 52. This is week 51 and I can barely believe it. This project has had it's ups and downs, it's peaks and valleys. This has been an adventure. This has been a journey. When I started this project I toyed with the idea of it being "52 weeks of self-portraits." Well, that didn't last very long (and I never really liked the idea that much anyway.) Every once in awhile it's fun to push my limits and give it a try at self-portraiture. Some think it's vain, conceited, while others think it's a beautiful expression of self. I stand in the middle of those two standpoints ;) 
On another note...1 week till Christmas! The week of crazy shoppers, cookie baking and last-minute wrapping. It hasn't snowed yet in Chicago so it doesn't feel like Christmas. But I am so excited to celebrate Christ's birth. I love Christmas Eve with my family and the anticipation of a new year coming. 

Merry Christmas, friends :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 50 || Project 52

This past week was probably the best week of the year : we got a puppy! Little Ellie is 7-9 months old and she was rescued from Puerto Rico a little over a month ago. I woke up super early every day for some morning snuggles and play time with my sweet girl. I participated in some major procrastination because I could barely pull myself away from her she's just so cute! Honestly though, so so so excited to welcome her into our family. She is SUCH a good dog and a miracle!

Get ready for some cuteness...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 49 || Project 52

I've never really been much of a "videographer" but I try. There's something about the light, the sounds, everything. I'm a sucker for amazing shorts like this one and tear-jerking wedding cinematography like this. People can really create amazing, enticing pieces of work.

During Thanksgiving, I did a bit of exploring in the wilderness and shot more video than photographs! I write a lot about my trips in the wilderness and capture a lot of photographs of my time but I never really show it in action. This, my friends, is the wilderness. 


Please, please, please share with me some of your favorite videos. I'd love to see them :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November in Instagrams || Personal

I love November. It holds the peak of fall, chai tea lattes, candles always burning, crisp fall air, thankfulness and the anticipation of winter. This November filled me with joy, hope, faith and patience.    Spontaneous trips to the city, breakfast on Saturday mornings, fireworks, good friends, foggy mornings and road trips. 

I went a little instagram crazy because I got an iPhone 5 after being due for an upgrade. I'm kinda thrilled.

Our pleasure and our duty, though opposite before, since we have seen his beauty are joined to part no more
Day after Thanksgiving :: snow
& the greatest ending of all. This, my friends, is Ellie, the newest member of my family. We adopted her & she is a miracle. 

Happy December! So excited for all that this month holds.

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