alexa and erin // a vlog


A vlog, in which we (Erin and I) talk about pumpkin white chocolate mochas, prank calls, and a number of other random topics. Enjoy!

p.s. I've noticed that the comment authentication thing (the thing that makes you type out the squiggly font to make sure you aren't a robot) is getting really picky, and difficult. Comment if you'd like it removed, because I am seriously considering it. :)
I fixed it. :)

it was a blogger meet-up


A few weeks ago, I discovered that Madeline and I lived close enough to potentially meet up. A couple emails here and there, and suddenly we had a shoot scheduled for the 13th of August. A bohemian-styled shoot, to be exact. With a model. Which meant, not only would I have to mentally prepare myself for the moment of meeting a new face and maintaining small talk for an entire evening. I would have to do it twice. I was nervous, to say the least. But the blogger in me buzzed with excitement. As did the photographer.

The drive was long. And I'm sure being directionally challenged didn't help. But after several gps saves, and one or two calls home, I found her house. Where I was greeted with a smile and a hug. We hurried up to her room, where we began styling our gorgeous model, Taylor. And soon we were off to the nearby field for our shoot.

And so the night began. 

By the end of the night, I felt like I'd known these girls all my life. I had such a blast and can't wait for our next adventure. Love you girls!

chocolate chip cookies // a recipe


With all this pinterest food-pinning-frenzy, I've got it in my mind that I need to bake the latest and the greatest. But something about the chocolate chip cookie always brings me to a place of laughter, and warmth. So today I have a little recipe for you. It's nothing special. It's not the latest. Or the greatest. In fact it's probably one of the oldest in the book. (Well, my book, at least.) And, honestly, it's quite possibly the simplest of recipes. But that's why I love it. The chocolate chip cookie.
click here to view hd version
//2 cups all-purpose flour
//2 tsp corn starch
//1 tsp baking soda
//1/2 tsp salt
//1 bag chocolate chips
//3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
//1 cup brown sugar
//1/4 cup granulated sugar
//1 egg
//2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, using a fork, stir flour with corn starch, baking soda, and salt until evenly mixed. Measure out chocolate chips. Place butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Then beat in brown and granulated sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Using a spoon, stir in flour mixture and chocolate chips just until evenly mixed.

2. Lightly grease cookie sheet with butter or cooking spray. Scoop out about 1 tbsp dough and place on sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing at least 2 in. apart. 

3. Bake, one sheet at a time, in center of oven until cookies are golden around the edges, from 8 to 10 minutes per sheet. (Press cookies down with a fork halfway through baking.) Remove sheet to a rack and let cookies stand on sheet about 2 minutes. Then remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Once cool, cookies will keep well in a covered container at room temperature up to 2 weeks - if they last that long!

Recipe courtesy of fernweh mag!

tent-dwelling // a camping adventure



I've been living out of my suitcase for almost the past two weeks - give or take a few days. And a tent. And a mobile home. And, well, away from home. But it is ohsogood to be back.

My first trip lasted a total of four days, where my mom, brother, and I camped deep in the forests of wisconsin dells. ;) It was a blast. I don't have a whole lot of photos, mostly because I was focusing on the montage aspect of it, but also because camping is just a really dangerous environment for a camera. :) 

My second trip was spent in my dad's friend's mobile home on a beautiful lake. I was with my dad, brother, my dad's friend, and his grandson. Oh, and I caught lots of (very little) fish. It was quite spectacular. :)

a sweet sixteen surprise


I thought I was shooting family portraits. I charged my camera the night before and bought a snazzy new memory card just for the occasion. It was the perfect tactic to have me ready to document the actual event - my sixteenth birthday party.

The 'shoot' was to take place in a little town just outside the state border, and I was to be accompanied by my dad and brother. I kept occupied on the forty-minute drive by reciting different family poses in my mind. I was told the family would be waiting by the bandshell in the park, but as we neared it, there was no one but a group of girls, huddled in the corner. I thought nothing of it. 

I hopped out of the car, camera bag on my shoulder, and hurried towards the bandshell - all the while scanning the scene for my subjects. That is, until a threesome of big, pink balloons crossed my line of vision. Wait a second... I wondered, and before I could put the pieces together - "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!".

A few months ago, I attended a surprise party for a good friend of mine, and when the time came for us to yell, "SURPRISE!", her reaction sent mixed signals. She looked shocked, excited, and at the same time, like she didn't want us there. Needless to say, I was confused.

But when four girls came from behind and tackled me in my tracks, I felt a sudden wave of emotions, including shock, excitement, and humility - almost to the point of tears. And then I understood.

This happened three times as a total of eleven girls divided themselves into groups of three and four and surprised from every which way - including the four girls I saw huddling in the bandshell. And after a few moments of hugs and awkward conversation, out climbed my mom and her good friend - the two masterminds behind the party - from the bushed, cameras in hand, and making the final surprise.

Once all surprises and happy birthdays had been said, we lined up for lunch. Platters of assorted fruits and vegetables, chips, and Jimmy John sandwiches were set up in a sort of buffet manor upon two vintage card tables and surrounded by all sorts of vintage items. Glass-bottled pop, mustaches on sticks, and paper straws - it was pure bliss.

We sat down on an array of colorful blankets to indulge in our vintage picnic. All the while laughing over silly conversation. And getting up for seconds, and thirds.

Then came presents - and, oh lordy were there lots. Can I just say that these gifts were quite possibly the best I have ever received? Each gift was carefully wrapped, and, well, utterly me. Let me name a few: a mustache ring, an adventure book, an original elephant drawing, and about a pile more of pure perfection. But the best gift was from my very own mother, and it came in national camera bag. The lens I had been saving for, for the past 6 months or so - the Canon 50mm 1.4!

the lens!!

With my new lens, we headed out for a two hour photo shoot - right in time for golden hour. It was the best part of the party.

After the photo shoot, we adventured downtown to a little ice-cream shop named Knoke's for a few scoops of utter deliciousness. The shop was small, and a little chaotic as all 14 of us carefully chose our scoops. But it was so worth it.

We spent the last few moments of golden sunlight on the river bank jumping the trademarked high school musical jump, and catching group photos in the water.

And we ended the day with a bang at my town's annual fireworks show.

I have to say, it was the best sweet sixteen party a sixteen year old girl could've ever received - thanks mom. :)

A few things I never mentioned:

1. These girls are eleven of my closest friends, and I was so thankful for their being there, to celebrate me and my big day! I love you all!

2. Did you see how adorable all these girls' outfits are? I mean, seriously. Seriously.

3. This post is lonnng overdue, but there was no way I could skip writing it, so here you are, one month late. :)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Expect a post on my two camping adventures soon!