I met Madeline through a referral from another photographer, and I am so glad I did! She is such a sweet, intelligent, confident young lady, and her love for this beautiful city [even though she is from Michigan] is very inspiring. Best wishes as she enters her Senior year in high school!
I had the opportunity to photograph a very special family before they moved several weeks ago. This family has been so helpful as I transitioned into life as a military wife, and I don't know what I would have done without them. Best wishes to this family in their next endeavor! We miss you!
I absolutely love to cook. I like things that are new and different, because I hate feeling like I cook the same stuff all the time. Today I got VERY ambitions as I was trying to come up with a menu for a dinner party that I plan to host in the near future. Some things worked, some TOTALLY did not, but over all it was really delicious.
Arugula, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad with a homemade Orange-Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Hamburgers topped with Arugula, Provolone Cheese and an Orange-Garlic Aioli [on a freshly made and toasted bun]
Here is where I kinda messed up. I did not have the egg yolks the aioli recipe called for, so I used Greek yogurt instead. I also used too much orange juice. Rather than the aioli being thick, it was very thin and immediately separated on the burgers. Even though it didn't look very pretty, it was DELICIOUS.
Sweet Potato, Diced Prosciutto, and Gruyere Gratin
I am so bad about not following a recipe. I ended up eyeballing everything in this dish, and put a good bit too much half & half. It was pretty juicy, but it is a really yummy dish. The flavors of the sweet potato, the prosciutto, and the Gruyere work so well together. Yum.
I'll be the first to admit, I hate taking the time to wash my face twice a day. I hate getting water all over my sink. I hate making a mess. Let's be honest, it is a bit of an inconvenience. BUT it is important. I don't always use a cleanser twice a day, but I always clean my face twice a day (with a washcloth), and I also exfoliate at least twice a week. I've used a lot of over-the-counter exfoliating products, and this Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Step 1 : Refine is the most gentle product I have ever used, and followed up with Microdermabrasion Step 2 : Replenish, it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth!
I know a lot of women don't think they need to moisturize because they have oily skin. The last thing you want is to look like the Lovely Lady Grease. I totally get that, but there are products out there that moisturize without making you look greasy. Your skin NEEDS moisture, especially if you're drying it out on your daily trip to the beach.
So regardless of whether or not you feel it is important to wash your face, you should at least put on sunscreen every day. I know you've all heard the horror stories from women who sun bathed for 25 years without sunscreen, and it just really isn't a pretty sight. We are one of the first generations who have the opportunity to save our skin, yet still enjoy being outside in the sun. Pretty cool, if you ask me!
I usually go for SPF35 or higher. After vacationing at the beach for a week, I applied the TimeWise Day Solution Sunscreen every morning before heading out to the beach and came away with only one or two new freckles. You fair skinned people know what an accomplishment that was!
The only downside to putting sunscreen on your face every single day is that by the end of the summer, my face is about 5 shades lighter than the rest of me. When that happens, I spend about 30 minutes in mostly-direct sunlight sans sunscreen and all of my lovely little freckles pop out. My dermatologist would probably say that's a bad idea, but sometimes vanity tells me the sun is my friend. :]
I don't know about you, but I don't like to wear a whole lot of foundation in the summer. Savannah is HOT (and humid), and I look good for all of two seconds after I walk out of the door in the mornings. One thing that has been a life saver is foundation primer. I use it almost daily (even if I don't wear foundation). It takes away the shine, and minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines - a win/win in my book.
Who has naturally rosy cheeks? That would NOT be me. I need a little color, or I pretty much look dead. I have so many blush products I love, and I often alternate between a coral (if I'm going for a sun-kissed look) and a more watermelon shade like Bella Bamba. Other than a foundation primer, this is the only makeup I wear during the summer, unless I'm going somewhere fancy. Who doesn't sweat it all off in the first 5 minutes of being outside? Plus, there is definitely something to be said for cutting a good 20 minutes out of makeup application!
Don't forget to hydrate your lips! Did you know that almost every single chapstick/lip balm/lip stick/lip gloss on the market has alcohol in it? It's a rather genius marketing ploy on the manufacture's part because the alcohol dries your lips out so you keep using more and more to hydrate them. Mary Kay's Satin Lips Lip Balm does not have alcohol, therefore just hydrates. Another reason why I love that brand.
My hair HATES the summer. The sun dries it out. The saltwater dries it out. Everything dries it out, and it ends up looking like pine straw. Then I spend months using expensive hydrating treatments trying to re-hydrate my hair, and then before you know it, it's summer again. Talk about a vicious cycle. A good friend told me to try Coconut Oil. I always had avoided it because I know how difficult it can be to get oily products out of my hair, but I'm so glad I decided to try it.
I usually massage it through my hair (starting with the ends, working my way to the roots - if you have naturally oily hair, might want to use the oil sparingly around the roots) about 30 minutes before I shower (obviously on a day when I am not rushing out the door), then shampoo twice to make sure I have all of the oil out, and then condition as I normally do. Next time, I will buy it already in liquid form rather than a solid because I feel like it'd be easier to distribute throughout my hair, but the solid form melts in your hands so it is doable.
If you've never tried a cocoanut oil treatment, you should. You'll be glad you did.
Spectrum Naturals Organic Cocoanut Oil $9.99
6. Skincare [body]
During my freshman year of college at North Greenville University, I was a marketing major. I learned to LOVE all things marketing and advertising. I don't know if you've seen the commercial for Vaseline's Spray & Go Moisturizer, but I did, and I decided to try it - because I liked the commercial. I am sure glad I did! I LOVE this product. I have really dry skin, and use a very thick moisturizing lotion on a daily basis. It keeps my legs and arms from getting chalky, but I end up feeling super greasy - especially if I go swimming or get in the water. Spray & Go has taken away all of the hassle. Simply spray it on, rub it in, and go. Just like it says.And guess what, no greasy feeling. This my friends, is a winner.
I had the privilege of shooting this VERY sweet (and cooperative) family a couple of weeks ago. I don't think I've ever had a family shoot of this size that went so smoothly. Here are a few of my favorite highlights from my evening with the Downs Family!