March 31, 2015


LOCATION: White Plains, NY
DETAILS: UniQlo Peanuts Top (similar)   ||   Floral dress (similar)   ||  Grey boots (similar)   || Bar Pendant Necklace (similar

It's officially Spring. How lovely, don't you think? It actually snowed on the first day of Spring. I ended up wearing shorts for fun and drinking hot chocolate. ha! I was wishing and hoping for some warmer days, but they actually haven't come yet. I decided even if it wasn't warm I was going to celebrate spring anyways. So I threw on one of my favorite spring dresses and a favorite sweatshirt.

We headed outside and I lasted about 10 minutes before the shivers set in. I was determined though and we snapped a handful of photos while I ran around trying to stay warm.
I'm looking to forward to paring a few more Spring layers and slowly yet surely breaking out a few more warm weather items. I can't wait! xo. Samantha

March 30, 2015


Our first stop after Grand Central Station was Bryant Park. It was morning, it was quiet, and the park was empty. It was a great first stop. New York City really is magical. While the trees were still missing their leaves, their branches beautifully arched over the walk ways.

There was table after table and seat after empty seat. I'm sure in warmer months the park is full of life, joy and laughter. But it was beautiful to see it empty, to see how it serves as a home to so many. With the park in the center, the streets were lined with beautiful architecture.  We strolled through the park, taking photos, making memories, and filling the park with our own joy and laughter.

When Tyler and I travel or go on adventures we don't often get pictures of us together. We were so grateful that Meg snapped so many pictures of us. So you if see us together know that it was her behind the camera. New York City has been by far one of my favorite adventures, I'm sure I'll say that many times within all the NYC posts. I'll remind you each time, just in case your forget. :) What have been some of your favorite adventures? xo. Samantha

March 27, 2015


1.) It's officially Spring. It may not be warm yet, but I've been wishin' and hopin'.

2.) I'm ready to break out my Spring dresses. This one has been hanging off our door all week, ha!

3.) I received the sweetest snail mail and a fun surprise package this week! Sweet surprises are the best! I also shared #thestationerychronicles so we can all share our sweet surprises together.

4.) With the launch of #thelensrevolution I've been diving more and more into photography and I can't wait to dive into this book!

5.) We had a handful of rainy days and it was really quite lovely. I've missed rainy days and it has been nice to have so many.


These invisible book ends, so easy.
Adventure awaits.
I want to make these, just because they look pretty. ha!
All the caramel things, I'll take 'em. 
How cute is this dress? So cute!
Cookies are my jam, all the cookies all the time.
All the lemony goodness.
These cupcakes, goodness could I put any more sweets on this list, ha!

How was your week, friends? xo. Samantha 

March 26, 2015


What is sweeter then getting a surprise in the mail? Coming home, checking the mailbox, and finding an unexpected surprise. It could be a small surprise or a big surprise, but a surprise none-the-less. There is something special about receiving a little something from someone unexpectedly. Just their kind words that grace the inside of a card are a great gift and a sweet blessing.

Those little things can be really big things to the people that receive them. They echo sweet community and blessing. They reach out from somewhere far away and touch our hearts. I wanted a place to relish in that sweet community. A place to encourage sweet surprises. A place to lift others up and find inspiration. The Stationery Chronicles is that place.  It's a place to introduce you to sweet shops who are encouraging sweet community. A place for you to think about people you love and people you want to send sweet surprises to.
For today's Stationery Chronicles I wanted to highlight sweet items from A.P. Loves Design. A.P Loves Design is the perfect place to pick up fun and unique items and send them to your favorite people. There are so many cute cards and there is one for every occasion. I think unique cards say so much. They have a personal touch and feel unique to each friend. I love that at A.P. Loves Design you can pick out cards that remind you of dear friends. You can pick out cards that you know will make someone laugh. And you can pick out cards that support small business.
The Stationery Chronicles is more then just this space, it's about community. It's about you, me, friends and loved ones. It's an opportunity to send surprises, it's an opportunity to bless others, and share sweet words. Come along for #thestationerychronicles journey. Whenever you send sweet surprises or receive sweet surprises hashtage your photos using #thestationerychroncles. Let's build a community of givers, a community that blesses by giving. Don't forget to stop by A.P. Loves Design and receive 10% off your purchase! Use code ELAHCOUPON upon check out. xo. Samantha

March 25, 2015


Welcome back, friends! How are things going for your first week of #thelensrevolution challenge? This past week was all about understanding aperture and creating a foundation for the rest of our challenges. Aperture helps to draw the eye when you are creating photos and it can effect our images; from sharpness, to clarity, to perspective.

This week we will be tackling an ISO challenge. ISO is probably one of my favorite camera settings. In short, ISO is your camera's sensitivity to light. One may think that ISO is only important when shooting in really low light. However, if you you don't keep an eye on your ISO and you go from shooting indoors to outdoors, you'll be thrown for a loop when all your photos are over exposed and you don't know why.

Let's start by chatting about low light. When shooting in low light, especially if your shooting hand held and not with a tripod you can only adjust your shutter speed so low before things start to get blurry or ghosted. Adjusting your ISO increases or decreases your camera's sensitivity to light, allowing you to maintain a higher shutter speed. The less light there is the higher you want your ISO. The more light there is the lower you want your ISO.
For this week's examples I did an indoor shoot and an outdoor shoot. For both of my examples I used a tripod and shot at the same f-stop and the same shutter speed for every photo. The only setting I adjusted was my ISO. All of my photos are also sooc (straight out of camera), so that you can really see the difference in the ISO changes.

Camera : Nikon D300s
Environment : Indoors
Lens : 35mm
F-Stop : 2.8
Shutter Speed : 1/80
As you can tell, as my ISO increases so does the light in each photo. You'll also be able to see below in the outdoor photos that even though the photos start out dark as my ISO increase the camera's sensitivity to light does as well.

This week's challenges is all about understanding your ISO. Once I began experimenting with my ISO and began to learn my camera's ISO sensitivity I was able to create better images. For this challenge you can shoot indoors or outdoors and you can shoot as many items as you like. I encourage you to shoot in an area with low light so you can really see your images change as you adjust your ISO. If possible shoot in at least 6 to 8 different ISO settings, 200 / 400 / 640 / 1,000 / 1,250 / 1,600 / 2,500 / 3,200. If you camera does not have all these ISO settings, don't worry, practice with the ISO range your have.  
Camera : Nikon D300s
Environment : Outdoors, right at sunset
Lens : 35mm
F-Stop : 2.8
Shutter Speed : 1/125
Things to consider when adjusting your ISO : 
1.) The higher your ISO the more grain will be in your image.
2.) In  most cases you adjust your ISO higher in low light, to allow for a higher shutter speed.
3.) A normal ISO is generally 100.

Questions I ask when choosing my ISO:
1.) How is the light? Is my subject low lit? Am I outside with plenty of sun?
2.) Am I going to be using a tripod? Can I maintain a low ISO and offset the lack of light with a low shutter speed?
3.) Is my subject moving or stationary?

Your job as a photographer is to read the light of your surroundings and be able to read the light to create the image you want. Understanding your ISO will help you achieve a better understanding of reading light, give you greater control over your camera, and help you tell the story your are wanting to share.

Now we're on to this week's LENS REVOLUTION SHOWCASE, and I can't wait to see what you all came up with for this week's aperture challenge. This is an opportunity to share you work with other and find encouragement along the way. Stop by and check out others work and learn from them as well. The great thing about community is that we all have something different to offer.

Have any photography questions? Send them my way. xo. Samantha

March 24, 2015


There is something really magical about trains, don't you think? Trains always seem to remind me of a simpler time. A time when trains were the only and greatest form of transpiration. Trains take you to magical places, they offer an opportunity of ease. One simply has to get on, sit down and enjoy the ride.
Our train was taking us to New York City. Only a 45 minute ride, destination Grand Central Station. We entered the train car and I searched for an empty three row aisle. Most of the aisles were taken but I saw three row seats facing each other with only one passenger, so we hoped in. I love seat facing rows, because then everyone can sit facing each, chat and take lots of pictures.
Our train ride ended before we knew it, with only one other stop before Grand Central. I desperately wanted Grand Central Station to be magical. I wanted it to be exactly like I built it up in my head, I wanted there to be movie magic. And to all my hopes and dreams, it was. It was beautiful, it had such history, and because we arrived in the morning it was rather quiet.
You can easily spend lots of time in Grand Central Station taking pictures, looking around, eating, and taking more pictures. I love the feeling of the history and stories of everyone who has passed though it's terminals. Have you been to Grand Central Station? What have been some of your favorite train rides? xo. Samantha

March 23, 2015


I'm dropping in for a special Monday edition of #thelensrevolution, because photography is fun! And I've noticed some of you needed more explanation for the prompts so I am switching things up and sharing my photos with you before hand as examples of the homework! Wednesday, I'll be back to announce the second challenge and share examples. Wednesday will also be your opporunity to link-up for #thelensrevolution challenge showcase.

This first #thelensrevolution challenge is all about understanding aperture. I challenged everyone, including myself to find items that they could capture at 5 different aperture settings (1.8, 5.6, 7.1,11, 16 or 5.6, 7.1, 11, 16, 20.) It's easy to get stuck shooting in the same aperture over and over again, but learning the importance of changing your aperture and understanding how it can improve your images is fundamental.
For this challenge I shot these cuties at 6 different apertures 1.8, 5.6, 7.1, 11, 16, 20. I shot using our tripod so I could best demonstrate the differences in aperture. Lens used, 35mm.

F-stop :1.8
Shutter Speed : 1/500
ISO : 200

F-stop : 5.6
Shutter Speed : 1/80
ISO : 200
F-stop : 7.1
Shutter Speed : 1/40
ISO : 200

F-stop : 11
Shutter Speed : 1/25
ISO : 200
F-stop : 16
Shutter Speed : 1/14
ISO : 200

F-stop : 20
Shutter Speed : 1/6
ISO : 200

Understanding your aperture is two fold as it helps you understand your shutter speed as well. Primarily when we take photos we are directing the viewer to what we want them to see. It's our job to create art that draws the eye. Understanding aperture is the first step in creating your pieces of art. Study other peoples photography and really look at how they shot there image. You'll notice that different environments require different aperture settings. Shooting portraits will be different then shooting landscape. Keep practicing, keep learning, and keep developing your style and artistic eye. Have questions? Send them my way. xo. Samantha

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