May 31, 2015

i love harry potter

I love Harry Potter. I grew up with Harry Potter. I was in first grade when the first book came out. I was in third grade when I got the first three books in paperback from a school book order. I devoured them and was hooked for life. It's Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. I tuned in two days too late but I'm still catching up with Parts 1 & 2 of Deathly Hallows. I am forever indebted to JK Rowling and the universe she created for most of my childhood. I never went to any book release parties, but I had a special spot in line for the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows Part 2. When I was 18, the summer before I went to college, I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter right after it had opened. I read fan fiction (Remus/Sirius FOREVER) and even wrote some myself (Arry/Maco!). I wouldn't trade my love for this series for anything... Except maybe to erase my memory of them so I could go back and read them again for the first time. Seriously, I am a Potterhead for life. 

May 30, 2015

always, sometimes, never

I always...
+ stop for flowers
+ drink at least one cup of coffee in the morning
+ sleep with some sort of blanket
+ preheat the oven
+ get breaking news from the Internet
+ wear socks when I wear sneakers
+ chip off my nail polish

I sometimes...
~ think we should just get rid of the TV
~ stress out about little things
~ match & fold our socks
~ have a short attention span
~ eat Nutella straight out of the jar 
~ match my outfit to my lipstick
~ wish it was 65* & sunny all year round

I never...
- take sunshine for granted
- eat toaster waffles with syrup
- want to stop taking pictures
- have enough battery life on my phone
- leave the house in yoga pants
- get enough sleep
- delete my email

May 28, 2015

coffee cup rambles

The cup is empty and also full of possibility. 

Unintentional Packer colored coffee cups. Two empty, from yesterday and the day before. One still half full, giving me time to mull over my to do list, to brainstorm what I want from today. I wish I could say I had schedule craft time on deck for today. Or that I had a photo adventure all planned out. But I have to go dedicate 8+ hours to Hardee's tonight. 

So I need to put my game face on. I'm listening to yesterday's episode of Elise Gets Crafty. I need to emotionally prepare myself for a Thursday night after a coupon insert came out yesterday, and then when I am prepared for that, I need to start preparing myself to be running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off busy all weekend. Looking forward to Saturday though, when I work breakfast and get done in the early afternoon and have some time to get crafty after work. 

Coffee cup is empty. It's go time. 

May 27, 2015

wedding wednesday

Right now I'm trying to figure the logistics of possibly having Adrian's at the wedding. Justin wants to go all out on the cake... And it's not really a celebration to me unless there's Adrian's to go along with the cake. I just don't know a) how much we would need, and b) how to keep it frozen during the 3 hour drive and until we need it at the reception. Like I said, still figuring out logistics. 

And I think I found a photographer. Still working out a contract there too, but will definitely share as soon as we have everything set in stone. 

126 days. I should really get moving on things like invites & a reception venue...

May 26, 2015

must be summer

This is the current view out my window. Which is making an insane amount of noise for 7:30 AM. Also to which I would be pretty angry at if I wasn't already up to get ready for work because no doubt all of their loud noises would have woken me up. 

Heard a rumor they're going to tear up my street sometime this summer. Welcome to road construction season. 

May 25, 2015

magic monday

Yesterday before I left for work, I stepped outside and all I heard was quiet. I heard rain drops pitter-pattering through the trees. I heard songbirds singing their spring song. I didn't hear any of the traffic that rushes by on the busy street one block over from where we live. I didn't hear anything other than the rain and the birds and my own heartbeat. I thought to myself, "This, this quiet moment that I get to have all to myself, this must be peace." 

Now I'm going to try my hardest to hold onto that peaceful feeling. Happy Monday, friends. 

May 24, 2015

wake up, stay up

Went to bed at like... 1 AM. Rolled over to look at the clock at 7 AM & remembered "Oh, that's right. I don't have to work breakfast today. I can go back to sleep." Same thing happened at 8:30. And again at 9:30. I started my coffee and went back to sleep until 11:30. Now it is almost 2 o' clock, aka "time to get ready for work" and I have drank exactly one cup of coffee and I cannot for the life of me wake up today. Maybe it's the rain. Maybe it's my time of the month. All I for sure know is that it feels like I need more sleep. 

May 23, 2015

craft mess

This is currently what the top of my bookshelf looks like. Strewn about art supplies & film cameras loaded and waiting to be used & my 23 to do list & of course, my sustaining life force and good friend, coffee. 

When I make art, I spread out on the floor. I use an old shoe box as a makeshift desk/cutting matt, and I lay all my supplies out in front of me so I know what I have to work with. Then I start cutting and painting and drawing and glueing and basically just attacking the paper wth whatever wants to come out of my head. 

That's the fun part. The making stuff, the getting messy, the therapeutic release that comes from making art. The after part, the one where you realize you should dump out your paint water before you step in it (again) and pick up your scissors and Exacto knife, is what results in the craft mess on top of my bookshelf.

And as much I love #craftmess, I need a better solution for art supply storage. Now I just have to come up with something that works. 

May 22, 2015


Stayed up a little too late watching Yu Yu Hakusho with Justin. As in "didn't go to bed until 5:30" too late. Woke up at 9. Justin has a fever. Called him into work. Am currently drinking an entire pot of coffee to prepare for Friday night madness at Hardee's.

Fun stuff... (As long as the coffee pot stays full)

May 21, 2015

a new addition

Our new addition fits inside this little bag (#notpregnant). We found him at Good Will a couple of days ago nestled in by a bunch of other electronics that people didn't want anymore. Honestly, I probably would have bought just the bag alone because it's awesome and that rainbow arrow packs just the right amount of punch. But then we looked inside. 
And there he was. All shiny and perfect in his vintage camera glory. Welcome to the family, Kodak Colorburst 200. You were love at first sight.
(And your rainbow arrow is just a huge bonus.)

May 20, 2015

wall of awesome

Ever since we moved into the apartment we live in now and I've been doing laundry at the laundromat, I always spy this wall across the street and think to myself, "Damn I want some pictures with that wall." The next time I do laundry I have to make sure to bring the big camera and my tripod and remote with me. This wall for sure demands better self portraits. 

May 19, 2015


Go day. Get stuff done day. I've spent my morning painting patterns for my summer mini book, drinking coffee and listening to Billie Holiday. Then I got bored and started painting on myself. "Get to work!"

It's go day. Time for laundry and making the apartment look less like a bomb went off and more like a space we actually live and function in. Happy Tuesday!

May 18, 2015

magic monday

Magic is... These trees. The two-three weeks they're around in bloom is one of my favourite times of the year. 

Magic is... Drinking coffee at 5 pm on a Monday because you don't have to work tomorrow. (True story)

Magic is... Binge watching Yu Yu Hakusho with Justin on YouTube. Such an amazing show. 

Magic is... Having the next two days off. Time for laundry, buying new work pants, and maybe figuring out a guest list for the wedding. 

Happy Monday!

May 16, 2015

can't get enough

I will be so sad when all the pretty pink trees turn green again until next spring. Enjoying them while they last. 

May 15, 2015

currently, may edition

knitting my stash yarn blanket

listening to music from my early adolescence 

drinking coffee, as usual

looking at grey skies out my window

sketching plans for another mini book

collecting scraps of paper and cardboard

dreaming about something wedding related almost every night

thinking about what other colors I want for this blanket

cleaning out space in my "office"

missing my best friends

watching grey's from last week before I watch last nights season finale

wishing you all a happy weekend

May 13, 2015

wedding wednesday: dresses

I may temporarily become a wedding blog once a week. Maybe. This week I just want to talk about dresses. The middle one is my bridesmaids dress. October wedding, a deep red seems like a fantastic colour, and they come at the right price. Done. 

The other two are dresses that I have been going back and forth and back and forth between for a few weeks now. The one on the left is beautiful and it fits the aesthetic I have in my head about what I want my wedding to be (and the lace! It's beautiful!). And the one on the right is stunning. It's the one where, when I asked my best friend and my mom, they said "The lace one is pretty, but this one screams you." So I'm torn, indecisive, and on a mission to work a bunch of overtime so I can save money to try them both and decide which one I like better. 

It's quite the ride, this planning a wedding thing. I'm loving it so far. 

May 12, 2015

how I edit iPhone photos

I thought it would be fun to share how I edit and process my iPhone photos and which apps are my favourites. I use my iPhone as my main computer, and so for the last 6 months or so I haven't really touched my big camera at all. This is a step by step process of how I get my photos from straight out of the camera (sooc) to Instagram ready. 

I usually take the photos with either the iPhone camera, TimerCam if I'm trying to get a self portrait, or the camera in the VSCOcam app. After I have the photo I want, I import it into VSCO to edit. My favourite filters to use are B5, C1, F1, and K3. I usually adjust the contrast and exposure and play with the temperature after I've applied the filter. 

Usually, that's the only thing I do to edit my photos. But I wanted to share more than just the VSCO app. I thought this image needed a little more so I opened it in the A Beautiful Mess app to add an emoji stamp in the coffee cup. I like the ABM app to add extras to photos, like borders or text or arrows. It's the app I use to add text to my Magic Monday posts too. 

After I added the emoji stamp in ABM I opened the photo in Afterlight to add a simple circle border around the photo. I could have done this in ABM but I prefer the one in Afterlight because it has a clean edge to it. I increased the circle to give a little negative space all the way around the photo and called it done. Then I saved and posted the photo on Instagram in my #annalovesmornings hashtag.

And that's it! What are you guys using to edit your photos these days?

May 11, 2015

magic monday

I am on a mission to turn my "bedroom" into an office where I can work efficiently. This means a lot of cleaning and purging and sorting is in order within the next few weeks. While I was cleaning yesterday I stumbled upon this photo album that I had completely forgotten about. It holds a lot of photos from high school, when I carried my film camera with me almost everywhere. Flipping through it made me a little bit homesick and nostalgic, but mostly it made me really want to shoot film again. Inspiration feels like it's at an all time high for me these days, so I'm rolling with it while it lasts. 

May 10, 2015

hug your mom tight today

Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a strong, independent woman. Thank you for cleaning up my messes and being strict when you needed to be and putting up with all my crap for the last 23 years. Thank you for all the Roseanne and Golden Girls marathons. Thank you for teaching me how to love the Packers (even if it took 20 years). Thank you for supporting me through everything, even if you don't like what I do. Thanks for being my mom. I love you. 

xo, Your favourite daughter  

May 07, 2015

throwback thursday

was born at 27 weeks. I was 2 lbs. 13 3/4 in. long when they pulled me from my momma, which is why I'm so small even still at 2 months old. 
Teething & chewing on my first steak bone. 
These were taken at the same portrait studio I worked in from 2011-2013(!)
Walworth county fair with my cousins 
The only summer with the trampoline. We used to put the sprinkler under it and run around before the pool opened. 
Helping my dad or my grandma (?) take leaves to the dump. 
First day of Kindergarten.

The best part about going home for my birthday was getting to look through all the albums upon albums of baby pictures my parents took of me as I was growing up. I had like a permanent smile on my face as I remembered Easters and Christmases and summers spent at the pool with my cousins. I love my family so much and I'm so happy I have so many pictures of my childhood to remember the little things by. 

May 06, 2015

my first mini book

Supplies used: computer paper, Sharpie markers, Excel X-acto knife, scissors, craft paint, cone wrapper from my trip to Adrian's, masking tape for binding 

I was in a mood yesterday, where I was just stressed to the nines and it felt like I wasn't accomplishing anything I needed to, so I went into my office and started cutting paper. I needed to give myself a pep talk to pick myself up, and thus this mini book was born. 

I drew inspiration from Elise Cripe's mini book selection and processes, and gathered some of my pep talks from her and from Kara Haupt's #karawroteherselfanote hashtag on Instagram. 

I used an old torn out journal cover for the size template and cut out 15 pages. I ended up using 13 of them to make this little book. The whole book is 4.5x6.5 inches. 

All together I think it took me about 6 or 7 hours to make this, and I love it.