May 29, 2015

ALL THE THINGS

It's time for a mini recap of my week back home, whew. This week has been a whirl wind since getting back. I had the best time back home and was able to experience some of my favorite things. I forgot how much I love Missouri in the spring. I took pictures of some of my favorite places, all the beautiful trees, the falls where I took my senior photos, and lots of Chick-Fil-A. 

Before I left for my trip, I chatted with my friend, Eden, and we made a plan to do a photo shoot with her and her girls. I was so excited! It had been such a long time since I had done a shoot like that and it was so lovely. Eden and her girls were the sweetest, I'll be sharing more on that next week. The specific reason for my return was to celebrate my brother. He was on his last leg of officer training. I was so proud of him. We celebrated all day, including a stop at Pass Pro! ha!

LINK LOVE

Southwestern fiesta chicken, so good. 
5 resources for your quiet times.
These kicks
Summer time kiwi ice cream, yes please. 
The best gear for your tech.
Capture life, capture your memories.
Twitter tips.
You know it.

How was your week, friends?

May 27, 2015

CAPTURE YOUR CITY { THE LENS REVOLUTION }

Last week I spent a week in my home town. Growing up there I never really thought about how beautiful it was or  how unique. Going back really reminded me of how much I really do love it. I wanted to drive all over town and take pictures of everything.

This week is the final #thelensrevolution challenge. Can you believe? This challenge is coming to an end. But, don't you worry, I'm really excited because I have more photography fun headed your way! This week's challenge is all about having fun and experiencing your city. I want you to get outside, visit your favorite places, and experience your city through the lens. Capture your favorite places and be a tourist in your town.
5 WAYS TO CAPTURE YOUR CITY 

1.) FIND THE HIDDEN PLACES : Some of the best things to photograph in your city are hidden. Or they are places you've never thought to photograph before. Those hidden places can be the most beautiful and unique. Search for those hidden place, find the beauty in the unseen.

2.) CAPTURE THE DETAILS : Some of the most beautiful photos are found in the details. Look for those little details around your city. Whether is a unique sign, a small flower, a grassy field, or a leaf from your favorite tree capture those details.

3.) LOOK FOR HISTORY : I think history is so beautiful. It tells so many stories and allows us to look back on where our cities have come from. I think some of the most beautiful photos are those that tell a story and history has such a beautiful story.

4.) GO FOR A DRIVE : Some of the most fun photographs I have taken in my home town were during a drive I had taken. I grabbed my camera, got in the car and started driving. If I saw something beautiful, I would pull over and capture what I thought was beautiful.

5.) MAKE IT FUN : Capturing your city should be fun, not overwhelming. Sometimes I get stuck on finding the perfect lighting, which is really important, but don't let it take away from finding places to photograph or from having fun. Get out there and try different things.
I really want this week to be lots of fun. I want you to take everything you've learned and spend time capturing your city. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, you can find unique beauty everywhere.


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 PHOTO PROP 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

May 22, 2015

NEW YORK IN THE SPRING

I don't think I have ever lived in a place with so many blooming trees and flowers. If I have, I can't remember. Tyler and I decided to plan a trip to the city before all the blooms were gone and few weekends ago we grabbed a train to Grand Central and we were on our way.

We planned to walk the city and see all we could. We also had plans to stop by The Met. On our way to The Met we searched for a diner. We found the cutest little diner that opened in 1928. It was adorably small. It was as though we had stepped back in time. I ordered a burger and Tyler ordered a club. We sat at a tiny little table, as the diner was full, but it was sweet to see it full and bustling.

After lunch we headed to The Met. We spent our morning taking photos of all the flowers we ran into and snapped a few on the way to The Met as well. It was my first time at The Met and I really had no idea what to expect. The entrance bustled with people coming and going, but once we entered the first exhibit the crowd thinned. We made our way through one or two exhibits and took a few photos before heading to Central Park. We knew we wouldn't be able to see much at The Met during this trip, so we plan on going again.
On our way back to Grand Central we walked through Central Park. It was absolutely beautiful. During our first visit in March the trees were all still bare. During this weekend the trees towered high, full of leaves. The park was alive with flowers, trees, and people. Walking past the pond and seeing the boats was probably one of my favorite things. It's the cutest thing.
As we headed out of Central Park we swung into the Plaza Food Hall. Every time we're near, I have to stop in and see what yummy food I can pick out. I opted for a cupcake again, German chocolate of course, and it was so good. I'm so glad we were able to visit New York in the Spring. It was so beautiful and such a fun adventure. What have been some of your Spring Adventures? xo. Samantha

May 21, 2015

MAINTAINING DEEP COMMUNITY { THE STATIONERY CHRONICLES }

When you move a lot you come to understand how important community is. I have become rather accustomed to moving, I've grown accustomed to the changes, and truth be told, I love the adventure. But I also know how important community it, because when you grow up in a strong community you never really know how important it is until you leave it.

Because of the different places we have lived and our current nomad life, Tyler and I have learned to dive head first into cultivating community wherever we land, even when it's hard. We have also learned to keep strong ties with those we leave behind, because we still cherish those connections and that community.
Many people we love live faraway. These are people who I have been with us through so many life stages. People who knew us before we were married, people who watched our relationship grow, and new friends that we have made along the way.

Prior to leaving the community I grew up in I had never really thought about sending lots of snail mail. Most of the people I had come to cherish lived in the same town as I did. But now, with all of our travels, there are people I love all over the place and staying connected to them through snail mail as become incredibly important to me and has helped at maintaining and building deeper community.

Today, I want to introduce you to two shops that have great products to help build and maintain community. Pretty French Things is filled with the most adorable French inspired stationery. I fell in love with these Paris Doors post-card set and there are multiply colors including; red, brown, and black/white. I love how unique these post-cards are and I love that they would be so cute hanging on the wall.  And just for you, Pretty French Things is offering free domestic shipping on orders over $15!  Use cc PARIS15, offer ends June 15.
Next up, are the cute and super encouraging cards from Allison RamsingAllison Ramsing stationery is all about celebrating and encouraging others and I just love that. I love the unique and beautiful hand lettered cards and each come with thick kraft paper envelopes. And today, Allison Ramsing is giving you an opportunity to win 3 cards of your choice! Hurray! Your chance to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Entries will be run via rafflecopter above. The giveaway will close in 7 days, at that time one winner will be chosen at random. The winner will be announced within seven days of the closing day. Once the winner is announced they will receive an email and they have 24 hours to respond or forfeit the prize. Entries will be verified and reviewed at the discretion of Elah Tree. Any falsified entries will be disqualified.  
I want to encourage you to send lots of snail mail. Fill cards with sweet words of encouragement and send them to everyone you love. Remember, Pretty French Things is offering free domestic shipping on orders over $15! Use cc PARIS15, offer ends June 15. And Allison Ramsing is offering 30% off all orders! Use cc ELAHTREE. Happy Thursday, friends! xo. Samantha

May 19, 2015

NEW YORK CITY STREET STYLE : MUST HAVES

LOCATION:  New York City, NY
DETAILS:  Aviators (similar)  ||  Fitted boyfriend Oxford  ||  She Is Strong tee  ||  Navy Midi Shorts (similar)   ||  New Balance Sneakers (similar

When we plan to go to New York City we usually plan to go for the day and we're usually planning to do a lot of walking (miles and miles.) Because of all the walking we do and all the time we spend outside, I really like think about what my "must haves" are when planning a day trip.

We love being outside and we love the opportunity to walk through the city because it's so beautiful and you can see so much. You can see the small details of the city; the colors, the textures, and the people.
SPRING CITY MUST HAVES

1.) DRESS IN LAYERS : It's not super hot in the city yet and on cloudy days it can feel a little cool. Having layers was really important because I knew that layers would add dimension to my outfit and keep me warm. I chose a heavy button up because I knew if I got a little chilly I could button it up, but I could also unbutton it if I got to warm.

2.) WEAR COMFY SHOES : Sneakers are my jam all the time and they are a must when walking around the city all day. You don't have to sacrifice style when wearing sneakers. Pick bright bold colors when choosing your sneakers and pair them with something fun.

3.) DON'T STRESS ABOUT YOUR HAIR : When we started our day in the city my hair was down. I knew that as the day went on that I would probably end up throwing it up, so I grabbed a hair tie and some bobby pins.  I don't like to stress about my hair when I'm out, nobody has time for that. :)

4.) WEAR COTTON : Cotton is breathable and super comfy. I love wearing items that I'm going to be comfortable in all day.

5.) BRING YOUR SMILE :  A smile is the most beautiful thing we can put on. :) Even when I'm tired from walking the city the whole day if I start and end with a smile, it's a lovely day.
New York City is so beautiful in the Spring. Preparing for a day trip with my must have items keeps me well dressed and ready to take on the city. :) What are your must have items when going on a day trip? xo. Samantha

SHOP THIS LOOK 

May 18, 2015

SUPER SIMPLE BANANA BREAD DOUGHNUTS

If you didn't already know, I have a thing for doughnuts. But not just any kind of doughnuts, I have a thing for cake doughnuts and when I learned that I could make and bake my own doughnuts, my baking world opened up. When we moved here we put a lot of things in storage, including my doughnut pan. Since my doughnut pan was in storage, I decided it wouldn't hurt any to pick one up. They aren't very expensive and really two doughnut pans are better then one. :)
What I love about a doughnut pan is that I can experiment with putting lots of different things in a doughnut pan. And I decided that I could make banana bread doughnuts. I had some extra bananas that needed to be used and I figured if I could make banana bars, I could make some banana doughnuts.
SUPER SIMPLE BANANA BREAD DOUGHNUTS

INGREDIENTS :
3 overripe bananas
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

METHOD : Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the melted butter. Mix in brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Last, add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined. Spray doughnut pan with nonstick spray and pour in batter or pipe in.  Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
These doughnuts turned out really good and super easy to make. The recipe makes about 10 doughnuts and once they were finished we invited some friends over to share them with us. Are you a doughnut fan? xo. Samantha

May 15, 2015

5 THINGS

1.) Have you ever been to the Met? Oh goodness, I think it is the largest museum I have ever been too. Wow. It's so beautiful, there are so many exhibits to see, you could spend all day there.

2.) We stopped at the cutest little diner. It was opened in 1928 and still has that same charm. It was so fun and the food was just as yummy.

3.) Oh my goodness, Central Park in the Spring is so pretty. Also, there are tulips all over the place in the city. I loved seeing all the mini boats in the pond.

4.) Baked doughnuts for days,  haha! Okay, baked doughnuts whenever I bake some and this week was banana bread doughnuts, too fun!

5.) Thursday seems to be the day I layout and soak up the sun. I picked up a cocoa butter sunscreen too, which was so nice.

LINK LOVE

My brain about exploded, can you believe it
These look crazy easy and so good. 
She be rockin her leather clutch.
Shorts and long sleeves, perfect for summer.
Summer skillets, so good.
Comfy and classy, oh you know.
The coolest thing EVER.

How was your week, friends? xo. Samantha
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