Schwinn Bike Love.

I've never had the pleasure of living in a city where I never need a car for anything, besides when I'm overseas, and I have to say...I love it! Living back in Chicago has not only been life-giving and refreshing, but so incredibly fun as well! Riding the "L" train, hopping on my bike, or even walking most of the time (because I chose to live in a location where all of my favorite coffee shops are) has been so lovely. My block alone also includes a Jeni's Ice cream, Stan's Donuts and a La Colombe Coffee, talk about dangerous. A lot of my family lives closer to the Logan Square area and since I live directly in the middle of Logan and downtown, my bike is perfect for those quick commutes to see the family or go see a concert downtown, like the talented and soulful Gregory Porter or Ben Harper that I've been able to see this summer. 

This Schwinn Bike is also wonderful because of it perfectly fitting into my life's color palette. Neutrals are everything in my life, from my clothing, to my bedroom, to coffee shop interiors that I can work from and don't drive me crazy from too many vibrant colors.

The details on this bike are amazing. I recently rode some fixie bikes in Denver while visiting friends, and they were cool but I am definitely more interested in comfort and cruising, and this Schwinn Gateway 700c Hybrid bike is perfect for that. The seat is super cushioned so you don't have to buy a cover or another seat, the handles are also soft and never make my hands cramp, and the brakes and wheels are wide and smooth enough that I never fear of falling over (even when I have a squirrel moment). And one of the most valuable parts is the large utility rack on the back that holds my camera bag super securely with its clamp alone. Basically, this bike is perfect for cities and my aesthetic and I wouldn't trade it for any other bike in the world. 

Cheers to loving your ride! 

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Coffee + Love | Chicago Wedding

I love when a bride feels good about herself and you can see the excitement and joy overflowing in all of her motions. Twirling in her dress, making sweet eye contact with her love and nonstop smiling from ear to ear. Sometimes my cheeks even hurt after a wedding day from smiling so much. I also love that her tattoo says "Where there's a will, there's a way!"

This wedding shoot at Chicago Workshop is a perfect way to show you that you can have an intimate wedding (which I LOVE) and still have all of your favorite wedding vendors, minus the huge gathering. 

And what could be better than a couple getting married in a creative studio enjoying their favorite coffee and donut filled dessert bar? 

Cheers to couples in love! 

check out the wedding vendors listed below the images.

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photo: @melodyjoyco / planning: @graceniudesign & @alldeievents / styling: @alldeievents / venue: @workshopchicago / paper goods & calligraphy: @graceniudesign / desserts: @lovesugarandgrace / florals: @splendor_of_eden / rings: @ladyfayejewelry / hair & makeup: @trannguyen19 / coffee: @goodmanner_

My Favorite Office Space | Chicago, IL

I like to start my days working out of my bedroom. It's my favorite office space. Not only do I get to stay in my pj's for a bit longer, but it gives me to time to enjoy my favorite home brewed coffees in one of my favorite spaces. My bedroom is completely me. It's minimal in items and in color palette. I've also learned week by week as I get older that I am more like Monica from "Friends" than I realized. Coasters are key, always, and everything has it's particular spot at all times. 

In order to make my room more cozy I wanted to fill it with brands and companies that I love!

First, there is the Color Cord Company. Their simple brass cord and new "T-hook" that is coming out soon with some other new products, hangs so elegantly and beautifully from my high ceilings. It's simple design was inspired from the scandinavian culture and now are hand built here in America. I was so ecstatic when I learned that their offices were in Denver, Colorado. I was visiting one of my childhood best friends last week and knew I had to visit their warehouse as soon as I put two and two together. The owner is so passionate about his work and detail of design is everything with this company. If you're a small business(or large business) or just looking for an adorable light to complete your space, seriously, check out their website. They have so many colors and metals of every kind! It's an interior designer's dream, because they even do custom work. 

Next, there is this beautiful modern end table from Overstock. When I was searching for modern end tables I kept seeing ones that were super chunky or too thin or just overly designed. I like that this one was still simple enough, but had two drawers for storage for the important things(like notebooks, The Bible, my latest Archie Comic, Sudoku book, and Crossword book) but not big enough to cram a lot of junk in them and have things get lost in them (like my last nightstand). I also love this nightstand because it seems like all of my furniture from all of the different companies all had the same wood shade and that can be difficult to do. And it all matches my original hardwood floors as well. I like in a historic building and I have to say, I really do appreciate the details of this home...but more about the other rooms for a different post. 

Lastly, There is my "Bind my Wandering Heart to Thee" flag above my bed. It's always a beautiful and blunt reminder daily. I always find myself humming this hymn now more often than not while in my bedroom. Everyone needs one, and you can them at Charlotte's beautiful Etsy Shop, Wild Flower Eyes Co!

Some other little details of my room are this simple designed Modernica planter that I believe really "makes" the whole room with it's ceramic cylinder shape and perfectly matching wooden stand. I am also very impressed with myself for not killing this banana plant thus far, as I so easily do. Working on my nurturing side, in all aspects of life. 

And the rug that is the center of my room is from Rugs USA. It's fuzzy, white and feels amazing when I am barefooted in my room. So yes, I would say it's perfect and everyone needs one. The real inspiration was my niece Ella, who also has a similar white rug, and playing with her quite often I knew I needed one for myself. Inspiration can come from the most adorable places. 

I'm also going to be incorporating more of my lifestyle collaborations for interior design, coffee and fashion onto my blog as well as my usual wedding posts! So you all can see a little bit more about my editing process and life in between shooting the most beautiful weddings of the sweetest couples! 

So cheers to more blogging! x

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P.S. I've never owned a window AC unit before, but I have to say...this Frigidaire unit from Amazon is absolutely amazing! It's made working in my room an ice box dream. I love being cold!

A Highland Bride | Scotland, UK

        Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

( These are the kinds of individuals, artists, brides and humans I want to work with, and just live life with. )

 

Featured today on - Mrs. P & P Wedding Blog

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You can't beat pure joy, even when it's so cold out!

I can't get enough of shooting the unique details of a wedding day.


Location // It's a secret says the building owner, but I'll give you a hint...it's in Arrochar. 

Planner + Stylist Love Cat D Weddings & Events (Catrina Duthie) // Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Wedding Photography Melody Joy Co. // Website Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Floristry Posies & Pots // Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Headpieces + Jewellery Susan Dick Jewellery // Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest

Hair + Makeup Bonnie Brides //  Facebook  Instagram

Model // Natalie Leask

My Coffee Corner | Wicker Park

My coffee corner is a place where I make my daily cups of joy.

My love for Chicago...

This Wild Standard flag I thought would be the perfect addition to my new home, elegantly placed above my beloved coffee corner. A little bit about my thoughts on Chicago. Even though Chicago was the first place I lived as a child, my whole family was born and raised here, and I moved away at a very young age. All of the years growing up, the only teams my family rooted for were teams from Chicago. Mainly the Cubs, Bulls and Bears. We had Sammy Sosa, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin and Dennis Rodman on large posters in our game room. So many childhood holidays were spent visiting family in Chicago, and I always remember vividly my grandpa and his Dunkin Donuts and being silly with my cousins. So, for this next season of my life, I chose to live in the city that is home to the majority of my family members (over 40 in one place) and the history of where my family came from. Living life with my cousins and going to church with family has been so lovely. It's been a beautiful thing exploring this city and I couldn't be more excited about living in the heart of the creative community here as well. I also love run-on sentences.

Now onto the coffee...

I love starting my day with a good cup of coffee alongside my devos, before I get ready to encounter people (which usually just entails doing something with my crazy morning hair and throwing on something monochromatic). Depending on how ready I am to go to one of my many "coffee shop offices" where I live in Wicker Park, if I am needing to quickly run off to a meeting or a photoshoot, or if I am simply wanting a down day to edit and design from home, I have a brewing method that can fit my time restraint.

My Nespresso machine is the quickest way to have a wake-up jolt in the morning. I love the latest Cuban blend and my old faithful "Arpeggio", which is pretty strong and packs a punch. If I have more time to brew coffee and enjoy it at home from my beautiful vintage chair (that one of my sweet roommates, Xochitl, let me keep in the room) I brew via Chemex. After Chemex, there would be my Aeropress (which isn't seen, but stored away because I take it with me places when I travel). After my Aeropress, the brewing options would be Single Cup V60 pour-over, French Press or Moka pot. I have a cowboy kettle that I've tried out indoors, but it's main purpose is for camping. Maybe if I do a road trip where I car can carry it to the campsite, I'll actually make some turkish coffee with it in the wilderness.  

Currently I am enjoying a summer filled with Intelligentsia, and their coffee subscriptions are the bomb. More to come from coffee will be about Good Manner and Le Labo's Brooklyn Coffee Shop, so stay tuned via my Instagram!

All of these methods fit perfectly on and inside my beautiful Walnut Astro Buffet from Overstock. If you haven't checked out their furniture selections, you should. They have a piece for almost every corner of my room. I'll show you more from them later on too. And this Letterfolk board has been making my mornings brighter as well! I love switching up the text by putting scriptures, quotes and some of my favorite music lyrics on there. I recently watched a documentary on the Beatles. I have always loved them from the first time I heard their music when I was younger, so currently the lyrics "All you need is Love" are gracing my board's presence.

Okay, onto the photos...  

Studio Living | Bekah + Samar

All her perfect imperfections made her the most beautiful creature. -Atticus

This space. This lighting. These moments. These two humans I am so incredibly blessed to call friends. Their joy, laughter, genuineness and sweet spirits you can easily see just by spending any amount of time with them. (It also doesn't hurt that Stumptown coffee, Bob, Bruce and polaroids are involved).

I truly love capturing the beauty of friendship.

Heritage Bikes + Coffee | Chicago, IL

Coffee shops are my daily workspace, my second home, my place of rest and my 'living room' to dream and talk about life with friends. Thankfully, in my new home base of Chicago, there are so many beautiful work spaces (aka coffee shops). I like to mix up my surroundings from time to time to get fresh perspectives, but overall I have a few personal favorite shops that I frequent regularly. Heritage Bicycles is one of them. This is Heritage. They not only serve excellent coffee, but they sell and fix custom bikes. The interior design is right up my alley as well. The muted color palette, the original, fading wood floors with the stark contrast of the bold white walls with high ceilings just makes me so happy.

Since I am always commuting to different coffee shops around the cities I travel to, and now live in, I love to have a comfortable backpack to carry my laptop and camera gear in. I finally found a beautiful one for the city. The Kamrette Lyra Backpack. It has a separate zip sleeve in the back that is big enough for my 15 inch macbook pro, and I don't have to unzip the whole front camera gear section to get to it. It's a win-win kind of bag because it is not only beautifully designed but a 'pocket-lovers dream'. 

Enjoy this little peak into my day to day life. The only part I didn't include is my lunch breaks to Mcdonalds, my endless emails and my rough hair that is probably hidden under a hat. 

Coffee Shop Heritage Bicycles // Location Lincoln Park, Chicago // Camera Bag Kamrette Lyra Backpack // Eye Glasses TIJN Eyewear

Josh + Verity Wed | Yorkshire, England

Ever since meeting these two and roaming around Leeds for coffee last summer, I just fell in love with their sweet personalities. They are adorably silly, quirky, joyful and just so full of laughter and love. I'm incredibly grateful I was able to shoot their wedding in Yorkshire, which is one of my favorite areas of the United Kingdom. The day was moody and rainy (which made for excellent outdoor images, there was a stunning vintage red VW beetle, there was a pinata that was demolished to fill the dance floor with confetti before the party commenced, and there was a three-tiered Jello wedding cake. And that was all just icing on the cake (that wasn't there) compared to the love that was shared between Verity and Josh and their family and friends. Also, a huge thanks to Colin Ross, who was a boss at second-shooting this day with me! 

Josh and Verity, Love you both dearly and wish the best for the season of life that lies before you! 

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Location: Downtown Bradford, England / Yorkshire, United Kingdom

All of the Joy | Dallas, TX

Laurena and Peter's romantic wedding was full of so much joy and never ending smiles. Even my cheeks hurt from smiling so much at the end of the day. I wouldn't change a thing about this beautiful couple or their memorable day in their stunning ceremony and reception venues in downtown Dallas, Texas. 

Below are a few of my personal favorite moments from the day. Whether it's the eye contact, the unplanned contagious laughter, or a small precious unseen moment...authentic candids will always be my favorites from a wedding day.

So blessed by you and your precious families, Lauren and Peter. Praying blessings over you and your first year of marriage, plus the many more years you still have to come! 

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Wedding Coordinator -  Experience Specialist, Reception - Nasher Sculpture Center, Wedding Filmmakers - Northmark Films, Second shooter - Christina Elmore

A Hike In the Dolomites | Val Di Fassa, Italia

Everyone should visit Val Di Fassa, Italy. The area is one of the world's best ski-resort towns and has the most epic views from every vantage point. The gang and I went on a couple-hour hike in the mountains and the views were stunning. My favorite part was coming across an abandoned hotel. It was beautiful. There were a couple of abandoned cabins around as well. I absolutely loved these few hours of my life. Below are some snapshots of the hike. I also wore snowshoes for the first time. They are very practical for not sliding off the edge of a cliff on a small path. Highly recommend them for any hikes in the snow. Enjoy! 

Also, if anyone wants to do a styled shoot at this hotel....let me know! I would easily fly back! 

Thank you @visitvaldifassa, for such a beautiful experience! 

Endless Elegance | Garden City, New York

I love how Kelly and Jordan not only showed endless elegance, but as you scroll through the images from their beautiful day, you will see joy, laughter and endless amounts of fun on the dance floor.

Such a joy to know you both, Kelly and Jordan.  

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The Not So Green, Greenland.

There was really no idea in my head of how Greenland was going to look. Since I was a child I had always heard that the country was huge, cold, and "wasn't very Green". All true, but in the most beautiful way. I wouldn't change a thing about Greenland. It is definitely among the most surreal and stunning places I have ever been.  Everywhere we turned there was another iceberg, another glacier, and another epic mountain in the mist. Greenland's landscape is truly a work of art.

First stop. Nuuk, Greenland. 

Amongst the beauty we were not able to just see the land but experience the water and the ice first hand. We slipped on our wetsuits, hopped in the freezing cold waters, and swam to go stand on an iceberg as we waved to fellow crew members on the boat. Afterwards we floated peacefully in the water as we looked at the majestic skies above.

Second Stop. Ilulissat, Greenland. 

Greenland Guides Visit Greenland, Touring Greenland, World of Greenland

Lodging of Greenland.

Touring Greenland Adventure

A beautiful combination of glamping yet being far away from any civilization.

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Hotel Hans Egede

The most colorful and beautiful hotel in the colorful city of Nuuk.

Hotel Arctic

The coziest hotel, where you are surrounded by icebergs and arctic snow dogs right outside of your window. 

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Colorful Nuuk.

Nuuk is the capital city of Greenland, with a population of around 17,000 people. The Visit Greenland headquarters is based here, as it is the largest city in the country. If you are planning a trip to Greenland (which you all should be), then I highly recommend that you contact them or visit their website for inspiration. 

As much as I love the moodier weather and a darker color palette for my images, I absolutely love the pops of color that come from the historic houses that are scattered throughout the city. Each color represented a specific building in the original colony. That palette has now expanded, but you can see only the original colors in the "old town" by the waterfront. 

Below is the stunning cultural center of Nuuk, called Katuaq. It is used to hold concerts, exhibits of local artwork, conferences, and it also serves as the local cinema! In the lobby cafe I was able to try a muskox hotdog and it was amazing. I love hotdogs generally, but this one was one of the best I have ever had. It was amazing to see the distinctive architecture of this center amongst the historic homes that make up this colorful city. 

Up in the Air.

To get to the beautiful and remote country of Greenland you have to fly with Air Greenland. A few years ago I found out that my favorite chocolate chip cookies overseas were the "Maryland" brand, and I was so very happy to see that those were served on all Air Greenland flights. Helicopter tours are popular in Greenland but, to be honest, I can't imagine views better than the ones from the plane rides to and from each city. You fly close enough to the ground where the visibility of the vast ice sheet is so clear on every flight. When you look out the window and see the tiny "ice cubes" below you, it's crazy to think that they could weigh over 100,000 tons. 

These views were so surreal and ones I will never forget.

Kenna + Howard | Savannah, Georgia

I am kind of in love with 'getting ready' photos! I mean, I know the ceremony is the most important, but there is so much anticipation, excitement, endless details and all of the emotions before you are officially married. Here are those below, in the beautiful Historic downtownof Savannah, Georgia!

Blessings to you both, Kenna & Howard!