Thursday, January 31, 2013

Soul searching with a playlist...

Nothing like being exposed to a ton of creative people that seem to be pursuing all their creative dreams to make you wonder what you're doing with yourself...in a good way though.

When the introspective moment hits when time to cue up some broody tunes followed by a few uplifting ones.  And you wouldn't know it by looking at him but that Celine number at the end about the new day is a certain husband's (who will go unnamed) favorite song.  So new days here we come!

Now, I tried to get this all set up on spotify but I seem to be having all sorts of weird issues with that system - one day i'll figure this out!  Also in case it's not immediately apparent, I have a thing for oldies, so I always work in a couple of those - that Roy Orbison always makes me feel good so thought that this would be the perfect list to round it out with - just a little reminder to yours truly, that if I want something, I got it.  Just a question of doing the work to get it!


  1. Where Are You Going 3:52 Dave Matthews Band
  2. Shake It Out 4:38 Florence + The Machine
  3. The Scientist 5:09 Coldplay
  4. Say Hello Wave Goodbye 9:04 David Gray
  5. Holocene 5:37 Bon Iver
  6. Glass, Concrete & Stone 4:17 David Byrne I
  7. The Times They Are a Changin' (Live) 3:10 Peter, Paul And Mary
  8. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own 5:09 U2
  9. Dancing With Myself 3:11 Nouvelle Vague
  10. Man In the Mirror 5:19 Michael Jackson
  11. Who's That Girl 3:59 Madonna
  12. Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
  13. When I Grow Up (To Be a Man) 2:04 The Beach Boys
  14. Joy Ride 3:34 The Killers
  15. You Got It 3:30 Roy Orbison
  16. A New Day Has Come 4:20 Celine Dion


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alt Summit: 5 Quotes...

Returning from Alt Summit can leave you with one or both of two things....inspired to do more and be more, or lost completely in an identity crisis of what it is that you actually should be doing. The trick is to combine those two feelings and then channel them into the right direction. When you meet that many people that you find to be inspirations, it's easy think about getting lost in the world of comparisons...This person has this or that or these skills or those connections.

But the truth is everyone forges their own path, and no one is without their own struggle in some way. It just might not be immediately apparent to you. And I think even the ‘big’ people feel like that – it certainly came across that way in some of their wise words.

There will be a multitude of recaps from the event and as I process my own thoughts, here are five quotes that resonated for me, even though I have nearly a notebook full of pages and pages of notes…if I remember nothing else, I hope these stick with me this year.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Monday!

This is just a wee bit late to really qualify for an early edition - but I blame Alt Summit wholly and completely!

It's been a wonderful break of two weeks and I hope you enjoyed all the great posts that were lined up while I was out.  As I wasn't tweeting them out much, here's a recap in case you missed any!

The first week was a bit Mexico inspired based on our vacation and it included:

  • An Early Edition Round Up including the best beach reads
  • A Vamos a la Playa playlist featuring all of my spanish language faves - did I miss any?
  • What to wear to a beach wedding
  • I really would like to live in this house
  • The color of these skies is absolutely perfect

And last week, the fantastic Claire Morgan was a guest contributor, keeping the content for posts coming while I transitioned to Utah - she was able to share: 

Next week we'll get back to a more normal link round up - happy Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Photography Friday: Love in the Alps with Claire Morgan...


Growing up in North Dakota, I have a thing for snow - especially for the beauty in a thick, fresh blanket and that  fantastic feeling of white that you can get lost in that surrounds you...Claire Morgan, who's become somewhat of a specialist in capturing that very feeling, shares with us today some of her favorite alpine wedding images - enjoy and happy weekend!








Thursday, January 24, 2013

In the editing room with Claire Morgan...

I'm always curious about what kind of workflow photographers have and music is always a big part of that.  There's a certain amount of "in the zone" that happens.  I asked Claire Morgan what's on her playlist but she replied she mostly listens to music from the wedding itself, like the first dance song to really hone in while working on an event.  But if not that, Claire recommend Angus and Julia Stone, whom admittedly I'd never heard of before but glad I know of them now.  If you don't know them yet, check out Big Jet Plane, Paper Aeroplane (there seems to be a plane theme) and The Devil's Tears...Need to get these guys on ipod asap - seems like it's perfect for a rainy day too...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Claire Morgan's Winter Wedding Details...


It being the nippy month of January, when warm blankets, ski chalets, an abundance of candles, and a mug of something warm seem nothing but inviting, Claire Morgan shared with us some of her favorite wedding details from those brides willing to lace up the boots and tie the knot in these chilliest of months!

So how about it - would you brave the cold?













Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just the (winter) photography essentials...

So here's the thing about Claire Morgan...she goes where you go.  You need to hike up to a schloss for your pictures? No problem.  You need a snowmobile to get to your dream bridal portrait? She's already hopped on.  Rehearsal dinner in a tippy top chalet? Been there, done that.

Which works out well since, none of those things are out of the ordinary in an Alpine wedding, of which there are many in Austria.

Given that conditions for that kind of shooting are a little different than say, you're average hotel ballroom downtown, I asked Claire for her top winter wedding essentials.  Anyone planning to take pictures this winter, take note - and this includes on the bunny slopes!

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Claire's Winter Wedding Essentials: 


1.  Extra batteries.  The cold depletes battery life much quicker so one must always carry extra batteries. The best is to keep them close to the body in the inside of your jacket pocket.

2.  Gloves: I have tried the fingerless version but my fingers just freeze, so I find thin fingered gloves work best. I currently have a leather version lined with sheepskin, so they are snug inside yet still remain thin to feel myself around the camera. Thinsulate gloves I find too thick.

3.  Lenscloth - especially when coming from outdoors to indoors and I need to keep shooting, the lens steams up from the change of temperature aswell as the eyepiece and I cant see a thing! You need to continuously clean the lens until the camera adjusts to the temperature. Outdoors I find my breath steams up the eyepiece while I am shooting so I always need to clear that up from time to time.

4.  Sunglasses - this may be because I wear contacts and my eyes are sensitive and while I also dont photograph with sunglasses, they are vital when outdoors in snowy surroundings and the light is really intense. One does usually not think about sungalsses in winter but in snowy surroundings I find them vital.

5.  Comfy all weather boots. I may have time to change shoes in the evening for the reception but from the ceremony through to that time I will periodically be indoors and outdoors, in cold churches to snow or slush and back inside of elegant venues. My shoes need to be elegant looking yet comfortable, warm and waterproof.

6.  Camera bag with back-pack option - Most photographers camera bags come as a wheeler as they are just too heavy to carry. However I got a wheeler with straps to use as a back-pack for times when wheeling the case can become difficult or impossible, as in snow for example.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Monday!

While we're traveling back today and I turn right around from heading up north to heading out West for this year's Alt Summit (um, excited? YEAH),  I'm also pretty excited for this week on the blog since I'm handing over the reigns to Claire Morgan, wedding photographer extraordinaire, straight outta' Austria.

Some of you might remember her from her interview way back in the early Vienna days of the blog.  Claire was good enough to photograph our friends who came to Vienna to get married at the gorgeous Palais Kinsky (and why yes, that is me, 10 months pregnant crammed behind a table at the Hotel Sacher hoping no one would realize I was on my 3rd piece of sacher torte), but she also did our family photography in Vienna (after the sachertorte),

She's got it going on when it comes to weddings (and just recently got married herself - to a Polish gent no less so thumbs up from me!), and was recently featured in Style Me Pretty here, here and here.  Watch this one, she's going places!

Today - she shares with us her favorite links for the Early Edition but check back every day this week for new posts from Claire!


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Claire's Favorite Links:

Pinterest: I gather all my ideas here for upcoming shoots and themes, and gather inspiration for my brides-to-be.  (side note from me - be sure to check out Claire's Inspiring Photography board - it's absolutely ethereal! - and I also love her Engagements board, I must have gotten at least 10 different ideas there just for my own pictures)

EtsyAlso love sharing ideas here with my brides-to-be for DIY decoration. I also find home-made things for my own business and once had my CD cases made from a shop on Etsy.  A favorite is Amaretto, for vintage inspired paper goods; Anto Arts for personalized items and Victorian Station for banners.

Creativelive: My online classroom where I learn and learn all thing photography related!

The Modern Tog: Another great place to learn for anyone in the photography business.



Friday, January 18, 2013

Photography Friday: Nothing but blue skies...


Blue skies, smiling at me...nothing but blue skies...that I see.  One of my favorite songs hands down and I couldn't get it out of my head last time we were in Mexico.  I mean seriously, what IS it with these blue skies? I couldn't stop taking pictures either so here are a few to show that day after day, Mexico really gets it right on these!  I'm sure I'll be snapping away this trip too!











Thursday, January 17, 2013

Maybe I could live here...



Just my luck, Sous Style featured a house in Tulum last week...a bit upmarket from where we're actually staying to say the least, not that anyone is complaining...Now, how can I figure out something like this for myself....hmmmm....luckily I have all day on the beach to figure it out!

Check out the full house tour here!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What to wear: Wedding on the beach...

1//Clutch 2//Shawl 3//Bangles 4//Earrings 5//Long Dress 6//Wedges 7//Short Dress

Some of our dearest friends are getting married this weekend on the beach in Mexico...it's actually the whole reason we're here (although it didn't take much to convince us after last year's trip!)  When we left last year, it's one of the few places that I left with the feeling of "needing" to come back and I was so afraid that we would get to busy, that time would sneak up on us.  But we made good on our promise!

So shopping for a beach wedding in early January is remarkably less easy than I thought it would be.  We're just a couple of weeks short of when all the resort wear comes out - a bit unfortunate when you need a dress! But Anthropologie to the rescue! I ended up choosing a longer navy version  - but went back and forth on both.  A new pair of chandelier earrings from the post holiday super sale and wedge sandals (SO comfortable) round it out, and a clutch, shawl and bangles I already had pulled it together.  I've been to a couple of beach weddings now and have definitely come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as too many bangles!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vamos a la playa...

Playa, playa, playa, playa, playa...sing THAT to the tune of "Vamos a la Playa" where is where I should be today if all goes according to plan!

Here are a few tunes we've loaded up for the trip.  Now, I know that this isn't the most current list, but a few classics, a few reaggaton, a touch of Enrique (I mean, really), and a few favorites (like Muelle de San Blas - that intro gets me every time), and one that's really a Brazilian song and then a brazilian singing a spanish song... For the hispanophiles out there - what I am missing? I know I'm a bit dated in my repertoire here, leaning in on my days as a Spanish minor in college - digame, what would you add here?

  1. Vamos a la Playa (D.Mand Radio Edit) Loona
  2. Escapar Enrique Iglesias
  3. A Lo Cubano Orishas
  4. Ni una Sola Palabra Paulina Rubio
  5. La Camisa Negra Juanes
  6. En el Muelle de San Blás (Live) Maná
  7. Chan Chan Buena Vista Social Club
  8. Esa Noche Café Tacvba
  9. El Matador Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
  10. Vamos a la playa Righeira
  11. Loca (feat. El Cata) Shakira
  12. No Hay Igual Nelly Furtado
  13. Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Selena
  14. América (feat. Calle 13) Los Tigres del Norte
  15. 537 C.U.B.A. Orishas
  16. Rabiosa (feat. Pitbull) Shakira
  17. Suavemente Elvis Crespo
  18. Amor a la Mexicana Thalía
  19. Eres para Mí (feat. Anita Tijoux)
  20. Oye Mi Amor Maná
  21. La Paga Juanes
  22. Mala Vida Mano Negra
  23. Mas Que Nada (feat. The Black Eyed Peas) Sergio Mendes
  24. Inolvídable Reik
  25. Emigrantes Orishas
  26. Desaparecido Manu Chao
  27. Fotografía Juanes with Nelly Furtado
  28. Estoy Enamorado Thalía & Pedro Capó
  29. Golpes en el Corazón (feat. Paulina Rubio) Los Tigres del Norte
  30. Día Cero  La Ley
  31. Cucurrucucu Paloma Caetano Veloso

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday, Friendlies!
I'm off this week and next - but never fear, posts are coming your way as part of our regular programming!  Let's kick off the week with a few favorite links to share:

A list of beach reads, I hope I packed these!

An interview with one of my magazine heroes.

I love reading everyone's retrospectives across January but this one, love him or hate him, definitely is unique.

Have always had a girl crush on Hedy Lamarr and what she accomplished, love her portrait as part of this new series.

If healthy eating is one of your resolutions, this list of lunches around DC should help.  And they're under $7.00.

And if you don't have resolutions, how about a manifesto?

Would you cross this bridge?

Love how this family takes joy in the every day all together.

Digital diplomacy? Here's what the UK has to say about it.

Are you a US diplomat or spouse? Looking to get to know the community better? Join our swap!



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Inspirations: Zandbroz Variety...

You know how some stores just make you want to walk around in a bit of a dreamy state for hours? Zandbroz Variety is one of those places for me...I love to stop in there for gifts and souvenirs, but I love it most when I have time...time to walk around...time to browse shelves and get ideas..to pick up a book i wouldn't have otherwise bought...to buy a card to send to a friend I've been meaning to get in touch with...


There also seems to be a home here for all kinds of magical objects that I otherwise probably wouldn't know what to do with.  And the book section...you could leave here with arm loads.  One thing I never really noticed before (probably because it didn't really apply to me before) was the children's section and how wonderfully curated it is.  You'll find all the classics you grew up with, and chances are you'll find them in the prettiest edition you've seen yet, but they also have books that are specific to the region.  While first I got a chuckle out of the fact that there are books about frozen lakes and moose and northern lights, I then thought "well, why wouldn't there be?".  It's important to know all the children's stories that are treasured through time, but it's just as important to know and appreciate the immediate world around you.
And then there are those installations that you never would have thought up on your own - like a chandelier made entirely from vintage grade school flash cards...










When I was growing up, in the back of the store was a soda fountain where malts and shakes were the order of the day. This was probably the first, and for awhile, the only place in Fargo to get a coffee that was espresso based.  I can't even count the number of hours I spent here as a high school student...


The table settings area made me want to throw a dinner party right then and there...

I've always left this place with a head full of ideas and try to make time to pop by whenever I'm in Fargo - it's always worth it.  Where do you go to pick up whimsy?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Trip Report n.5: Fargo



If you think Fargo, North Dakota is cold, you would be right.  Or at least right half the year.  I'm not going to sugar coat it - it can get a bit nippy.  Ironically, as cold as North Dakota can get, I'm always coldest when living in Europe, or even in DC.  I think partially because I expect everywhere should feel like the tropics after this.  But it's also partially because ND is a dry climate, while other places are much more humid.  In Fargo, it's cold outside, but when you come it, it goes away instantly; in a more humid place, when it's cold, it sinks nearly to the bone and stays with you for hours - that makes it easier to get sick too.  Also, your body can't feel (assuming there is no wind) anything past minus 28, so if it's colder than that, who cares, right?

With our trip this summer, diplo-husband always can't get over how different things look when under a blanket of ice-cold snow.  I think it's part of the charm...





It's definitely cold enough where Artic Reindeer can munch on whatever it is that they eat since we saw  them at Santa's Village.

One of the best parts of being home for the holidays is that my brother and his family, now that he's back from deployment, were there are well so lots of playtime for diplo-tot with her cousins.  And yes, those are matching pajamas.