June 30, 2014

5 Things // Vol. 13

Summer means having fresh flowers in the house which I really love. It doesn't happen to often but when it does it's lovely.
Tyler and I went and saw How to Train Your Dragon 2. So good! So so good! I really like the Dragon movies. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the dragons remind me of dogs, but I really loved how they developed the story too.
Pizza Rev is relativity new to Burbank and we had a couple of friends suggest we try it out.  It was really good. It's kind of like a Subway for pizza, but way way better.
Not only did we see How to Train Your Dragon, but we went to a panel and book signing too. It's really neat going to panels because you get to meet the artists and hear about a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff. This particular panel was pretty crazy because there was so many people there. But the different art pieces were amazing!
I've started a new project that I'm pretty excited about! It's half way finished and I think Tyler is going to help me put the finishing touches on it.

Now it's your turn! How was your week? 

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June 27, 2014

NO BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

I fell in love with photography strawberries. Before I had even started cooking I was wrapped up in photography these strawberries. I secretly wanted this post to just be strawberry photos. And then I started cooking and as my strawberry dessert came together I fell in love with that too. Originally, I planned on cooking strawberry scones from my Downton Abbey cookbook, which is feeling completely left out, because I haven't cracked the cover in a while, but I avoid turning on the oven in the summer so I had to go with something else. I found this pin, kind of random, but hey it looked simple enough so I decided I would give it a try.
Tyler loves cheesecake so when I found a recipe for no-bake cheesecake I was all in. I knew Tyler would love it and based on it's ingredient list I figured I would love it too. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. This dessert has officially become my favorite summer treat.
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake - adabted from here

Ingredients: 1 Graham Cracker Crust. 1 (8oz) tub coolwhip. 1 (8oz) cream cheese. 1/2 cup of sugar. 1 pt. fresh strawberries.

Method: Mix softened cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy. Fold in cool whip. Pour into crust. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until firm. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

Alterations: This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar. It was a little too sweet so I would cut it back to 1/4 cup. Also, after we had finished making the dessert we thought it would be fun to add strawberries to the cream cheese mixture as well as garnishing with strawberries.
Tyler and I ended up calling this Strawberry Cheesecake Sundaes because we only refrigerated the dessert for an hour. Lesson learned it takes longer and we ended up putting our desserts in ice cream dishes. I think I may like it better that way. With the 4th of July around the corner this would be perfect, just add some blueberries and you have the perfect red, white and blue dessert!
xoxo! Samantha 

June 26, 2014

Travel Moments to Learning Moments

A couple of weeks ago Tyler and I were in Nashville visiting Tyler's dad. One of the things that Tyler really wanted to do was visit Antique Archeology. Have you seen that show, American Pickers? Antique Archeology is one of their stores. We were pretty pumped to stop by. Tyler and I enjoy that show and we love dreaming about all sorts of projects that can be made with vintage items.
The great thing about Antique Archeology is that it's more then just a vintage store. There are so many unique items that you may have never seen otherwise. There are also lots of really great vintage items that have been repurposed, like a majority of the lighting.  I really wanted to take home a couple of the Edison bulbs, but Tyler and I didn't have a project in mind and I rarely buy anything without having a vision first. I really don't like having stuff just sitting around.
Stores like Antique Archeology are great for gaining inspiration and staying inspired. There are stories behind each piece and so many of the repurposed items exude creative thought. In every adventure we go on there is an opportunity to grow and learn. An opportunity to be inspired, challenged and stretched. Even though Tyler and I were on vacation we can look back at these photos and this experience and continue to be inspired. We can continue to let it propel us forward. Take every moment, learn from it, be inspired by it and be driven toward greatness.
The more Tyler and I travel the more I'm learning that I can take in every experience and squeeze out creative inspiration. Every place like Antique Archeology started out small, they had a beginning and a dream. We can be inspired by their stories. We can be inspired by their dreams. What places have you been inspired by?

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June 24, 2014

Style & The Equestrian District

There's this park near the LA river and the Equestrian District that Tyler and I frequent for my style shoots. We usually go on Sunday evening which is lovely because there aren't that many people there and those that are there are riding their horses or walking their dogs. Tyler and I really enjoy this particular area of town and we love to think about how it probably looked decades ago. There probably wasn't a freeway  between the mountain and the park and the LA river may not have been there either. Because really the LA river is a huge canal with little to no water in it.
The area is quiet and quaint. Two things I love and that I miss often, but Burbank is filled with little surprises like this park. You just have to find them. I had so much fun during this shoot. One thing I loved was my outfit! This is one of my favorite summer outfits. It's so comfortable, but it still makes it look like I tried. That's a win in my book.
What I love most about this park is that there are so many different areas to shoot in. I wanted a little something different for this shoot and Tyler pointed out this brick wall. I especially loved how green vines were growing on it. And then we found this fruit tree! Best thing ever! One tricky part, there were ants everywhere. And while these were tiny ants that weren't going to cause me any harm I thought there were going to take me alive.  wearing// top: The Limited // shorts: Gap // sandals: Steve Madden

What are some of your favorite summer items?

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June 23, 2014

5 Things // Vol. 12

This past week was too fun! Tyler and I went to the Train Museum and hung out at Disney's Barn! To view the train museum you actually ride on a tiny train. When we arrived we were the only adults there without children. No big deal, we're big kids ourselves. Tyler said numerous times during our ride how awesome everything was. Yay, you should go too.
When I returned from Georgia one of the first things I did was get a pedicure. This isn't a normal thing for me. The last pedicure I had was for my wedding, over two years ago. But I had made plans to go with some girls from my small group. I'm actually kind of weird about having people mess with my toes, but I always love the outcome.
I love having chocolate in the house. Especially if it's dark chocolate. It's lovely to take a break and have a little chocolate. And then there is that moment when there isn't any left and this happens.
This is what happens when all the sweet treats run out in your house. You improvise with marshmallows and ritz honey wheat crackers. This might be a new sweet treat snack, they almost taste like rice crispy treats.
During out last trip to Rocket Fizz I found some Ozark Mountain Root Beer! I was pumped! Any time we stop in Rocket Rizz I feel the need to buy root beet and buying root beer from my old stumping grounds totally made me day. Also, Olde Brooklyn Root Beer is amazing. That is what I normally buy.

How was your week? Tell me all about it! 

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June 19, 2014

Coping with Transition & Anxiety

I hadn't ever really struggled with anxiety until moving to LA. It's not my favorite thing and it makes me really angry sometimes. Jesus has been helping me to work through it and it has been harder then I would like. I spent one week fuming mad at him about it. I really wish he could just make it disappear, but that's not the case. I will continue to lift myself up to him as he walks me through this struggle.

In March I shared over on Rivers and Roads about how much of a struggle I had with my transition in LA and I would love to share it with you here.  Let me fill you in; my husband, Tyler, and I got married May 26, 2012. And then we moved, from Missouri to California. All within two weeks my entire life changed. And this month marks two years of living here. Arriving in California brought on a large amount of anxiety that I had never experienced before. A new city, a new job, and a new life. All these things combined had me feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. Through that expereince I had to learn how to cope with the transition and anxiety and not beat myself up about it. While living in the city still makes me anxious these five things really helped me to move forward.

COPING WITH TRANSITION AND ANXIETY

1) Give yourself a break and give yourself permission to cry. You are doing awesome! In my experience I tried to do to much to fast. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to your transition and when you’re having a hard time remember all the changes you just went through. My mom reminded me of this constantly. I basically thought I should be super women and unaffected by the change. That's not possible.

2) Evaluate what in your life is making your anxious and determine if you can make changes. My job was causing a large majority of my anxiety. I learned that it wasn't a good place for me to work and I had to make changes. This job was by nature a stressful job and once I decided to quit I learned that many others on my team were quitting too.

3) Determine what you are okay with handling and what is to much. I couldn't do things the same way I would have done things in Joplin and I was okay with that. I really struggled with driving in the city, it made me really anxious. I had to accept that driving wasn't going to be the same. Driving made me so anxious that when I had to drive to new places I would practice with Tyler first before going alone. AND I'm still learning how not to be anxious while driving, this has been by greatest struggle.

4) You are not the only one who feels this way. I felt like something was wrong with me because of how much I was struggling. However, after hearing the experiences of others I learned that others who experienced similar transition also experienced similar struggles.To add, I met people who moved out of LA and when they would return on visits experienced anxiety as well. I was not alone.

5) Take your time, slow down and take a deep breath. Remember, a majority of your anxiety may be do to all the transition you just experienced. Give yourself enough time to adjust. Slow down and remember to breath. During those first months on living here I spent so much time in prayer because I didn't know what else to do. Take a deep breath and focus on Jesus.
Have you struggled with transition or anxiety? I would love to hear your story. 

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June 17, 2014

Cleaning Out My Make-Up Bag

This is the first time I've ever really talked about make-up on the blog. I like make-up just fine, but I don't know a whole lot about make-up and I don't have a ton of products.  I use what I need and if I ever want to try something new I look it up on Youtube. Just recently I needed to buy mascara and primer. I had no idea what I wanted to buy or even what products would be good. So I did some research, yes I had to research what kind of make-up to buy and wrote down a few. After picking up my purchases I decided to evaluate my make-up bag. And I decided it would be fun to share what I use on a regular basis.
I don't use a lot of different tools. I'm sure I break some kind of cardinal make-up rule, but hey I'm okay with that. For everyday I really only use my foundation brush, my eyelash curler, and my mini mirror. I use the other two brushes when I apply eye make-up which is rare.
For my everyday look I start by applying primer. Primer is amazing, hands down. Next I apply concealer. I use Physicians Formula concealer and a Mary Kay concealer. The Mary Kay is only for my eyes. Then I apply a mineral foundation. I use Maybellin. I use my foundation brush to apply my blush, which is Covergirl. Last, I curl my eyelashes. That's it. Occasionally I'll wear mascara, which I'm sharing about below. 
The products above are items I use occasionally for special occasions.  A bronzer, two different eye shadows, eye liner, and a highlighting pen. I should take advantage of the highlighting pen more often. 
I don't have a lot of make-up products so I didn't have a lot to throw away. But items one, two, three, and five are really old, like maybe ten years old, except for the mascara.
Now to the good stuff, my most recent additions. Primer has made wearing make-up a breeze. I loved the primer I was using before, but I needed to find something I could pick up at Walmart. I found this Revlon Photo Ready Primer and so far I like it. It's light weight and goes on nice and smooth. Picking out mascara was a little harder. Hello, there so many different mascaras. I had it narrowed down between Maybelline's Colossal Volum and another. While I was standing in the aisle another customer suggested the Colossal Volum. I appreciated her input because I really had no idea otherwise. I really like the Colossal Volum mascara, but I'm interested in trying a couple of the mascaras I looked at. It totally provides volume, but I'm curious if I could find something that would provide a lusher volume.

What are you favorite primers and mascaras? I would love to know, so I can give them a try!

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June 16, 2014

5 Things // Vol. 11

It was by far one of the coolest things to see my brother last week! My mom and a I flew to Georgia to see my brother graduate basic training and wish him well as he begins Officer Candidate School. I think I experienced the least amount of sleep I have ever had and it all began Wednesday morning at 4:00am. The families were invited to observe the soldiers doing their morning PT (physical training.) I loved being there and took lots of pictures and video all which were pretty dark because the sun hadn't risen.
Later that morning we returned for the beginning of family day where the soldiers are presented to their families and then get the rest of the day to spend time together. I was so excited to see my brother after this adventure he had been on. We spent the day eating good food, seeing X-men, stopping for ice cream, and then more food.
Thursday was basic training graduation which took place at the National Infantry Museum. The ceremony included informative reenactments and then a handful of other things that I have no idea how to explain. But it was really awesome and I had a great time! 
After the ceremony we checked out the National Infantry Museum which was really cool, lots of historic artifacts and we ate at the museum restaurant, which was good because I was crazy hungry.
The rest of our Thursday was spent gathering supplies that Jacob needed for Officer School, relaxing at the hotel, stopping at a few places to eat and then saying our goodbyes. My brother is one of my favorite people and I had so much fun getting to hang out with him. I loved seeing how much he had grown from his experience and I can't wait to see him again!

How was your week?!

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