Friday, August 29, 2014

Week 30

Week 30

Target inserts and vellum overlays.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Keys || Day 1

   So as you may know I am currently tromping around England with my family but I wanted to share my trip to the Keys from a few weeks ago. I was able to get off work early Friday to start making the journey to Key Largo. That's the first Key and is about an hour and a half south of Miami, but about 5 total from Tampa. Stephen was so kind and drove his car (mine is a ticking time bomb and we knew we would find trouble if we took Jimmy) the whole long haul. We stopped about half way at the only gas station in the middle of Alligator Alley. And what do you know there was a HUGE alligator just chilling a couple feet away from the fence.

   There was a lot of traffic as we went through Miami so we got to dinner at Ballyhoo's a little late, but it was nice to meet up with everyone and get this mini vacation started! We were invited down to Key Largo by my bosses (they are the best!) and a few clients came along as well. We all stayed in this gigantic house right on the water, it was gorgeous! I guess this is more like day one and two but Friday was mainly all driving. Saturday we got up fairly early and ran some errands getting SCUBA gear so the guys could go diving. Once we got back to the house we all broke up to go do an assortment of things. Stephen and John went diving, Lauren and Clair went snorkeling, Charlie captained the boat, Chris stayed in the house reading and Caroline and I went out on a kayak. We were only gone for a little bit and decided when we got back that we would make some bread for dinner.

   Once everyone got back to the house we had a feast for dinner, there was chicken, pork, steak, our bread, twice baked potatoes, green beans, and grilled vegetables. It was all so delicious and I was so full afterwards. Then came the entertainment, breaking the piƱata! Everyone took a whack at poor sparkles until candy flew everywhere :) We finished up the evening with Cards Against Humanity and a run to the ice cream shop down the road. I had such a good time with everyone there, it was such a good group of people!

   I'll blog about days two and three here over the next few weeks because for now it's time to enjoy the vacation I am on currently!!

Oh hello there. 

There's nothing like warm, fresh bread.


Chris took the first swing

Then Caroline next

Lauren did some real damage

Then Clair finished him off!

Poor Sparkles

Lauren's new ride!

Amazing right?!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tampa Bay Farmer's Market

   Stephen and I stumbled across this farmer's market on our way home from Church one Sunday and swerved in to see what it was all about. The fruit, vegetables and flowers were all so vibrant! Everything looked so much more appetizing than what you see in the grocery store. We only walked away with hot sauce and salsa but it definitely inspired us to visit more and make fresh food a part of our lifestyle.

If you want to check out this farmer's market here is the address:

Tampa Bay Farmer's Market
623 S MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL 33609

*If you follow along on my Instagram you probably know that I am currently in England with my family! I can't wait to take pictures of everything!! I'll be sure to blog about it all when I get back but for now go follow me on the gram :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 29

Week 29

Midnight Edition and Target inserts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Farmer's Market Love

   Farmer's markets are amazing! I had no idea. I've seen some beautiful pictures on instagram of people's trips to their local markets, but not really being all that great in the kitchen made it a little bit less appealing to me. But then one weekend after Church Stephen and I stumbled across a Farmer's market with all sorts of vendors. Basically after that I was hooked on how much more beautiful fresh food looked. I've never seen yellow cauliflower, purple cabbage, peppers, or carrots or dragon fruit before. Exploring the different farmer's markets in the area is definitely going to help me get in the kitchen more and be healthier!

   Later I will share more about each of the different farmer's markets we've been to :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Family Time in Venice

   I had never met Stephen's older half sister before, so when she and her family came down to Venice for a week vacation I was able to meet up with everyone at the beach. Emily flew in for a few days as well so it was a mini family reunion. We spent a few hours playing in the water and the sand, chatting and catching up. Then we headed to Herb and Patrice's for dinner. I really enjoyed getting to know more of my future family.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Week 28

Week 28

I started playing around with calligraphy and finally felt like it was good enough to document. Midnight edition and Target inserts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Balsamic Tortellini Salad

   I am a huge tortellini fan! I mean cheese filled noodles? Sign me up! Add a balsamic sauce and some beautiful fresh bell peppers and there you have it. It's so delicious that once I'm full I just can't stop eating. Anyway, here is my second official adventure in the kitchen.

- 1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 c. Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
- 1 lb. Cheese Tortellini {Cooked}
- 1/2 Bell Pepper (2 colors) {Chopped}
- Parmesan
- 1/2 c. Parsley {Chopped}
- 1/2 c. Green Onions {Sliced}
- 1/4 c. Pine Nuts
- Salt & Pepper to taste

   Combine vinegar, oil & basil. Toss with freshly cooked pasta. Let cool to room temperature. When cool stir in peppers, cheese & parsley. Season with salt & pepper. Garnish with pine nuts & green onions. This dish can easily be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Also, adding chicken, crab or shrimp really make this a main dish.

Monday, August 11, 2014

On the Road

   This weekend I got to take off work early and have a three and a half day weekend down in the keys. Which means about 16 hours of driving round trip. I absolutely loved being able to get out and explore somewhere new. I missed Albert though, too bad he isn't a traveling cat. I'll be sharing more on my adventures down there in the coming weeks. But, for now I'm going to pass out in my bed!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Week 27

Week 27

All Midnight Edition inserts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sawgrass Lake Park

   I love finding beautiful parks like this one! It was in the middle of a neighborhood so I was in no way expecting for it to be so huge. After looking like a regular park with swing sets and picnic tables it kept going with boardwalks and even a dirt trail farther after that. This park provided hours of exploration and was totally free! Bonus!!! It also had a lookout tower that gave a cool perspective of the boardwalk, which have become one of my favorite things to photograph.

   If you want to visit this beautiful park yourself here is the address:

Sawgrass Lake Park
7400 25th St. N
St. Petersburg, FL 33702

Monday, August 4, 2014

Let Your Dreams Guide You

   I've been thinking about getting a tattoo for quite a while and came up with this design a few years ago. Tattoos to me are a way to express what makes you who you are. They are artistic representations of your experiences and characteristics.

   I've always believed in following your dreams, it's what encouraged me to go to college across the country and pursue a career I've been dreaming about since I was ten years old. The dreamcatcher is a Native American object made of magical feathers and beads that is believed to filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our mind.

   Along with the dreamcatcher I wanted to show that my dreams were more than just dreams. That they affected where I chose to go with my life. The compass was the perfect substitute to the woven center. It turned out so much better than I could have imagined and I love it so much!

   I got it done at Atomic Tattoo in the Citrus Park Mall in Tampa, FL by Phillip Wolves. I highly recommend him!!!