Category Archives: Photography

Houston On My Mind

f3bbdfa9-20c4-423b-9523-a0068fb94ca1-6444-000004c09350a274A few months ago when Sarah was in town, we kidnapped our friend Kayla and took her to Houston in a day and back for the sole purpose of taking pictures. At the time, Sarah was the only one who had a blog so Kayla and I were just along for the ride and a chance to have someone photograph us. Cool!

We headed out early morning with our first stop being outside San Antonio for breakfast tacos and sweet tea from the one and only Bill Millers. That was my first mistake, tea! Houston is only a 3-hour trip and I had to stop at least 5 times to pee on the way there. It made it pretty obvious which one of us was the mom in the group.  We had a sweet playlist set up, so it was a smooth ride… aside from all the pee stops.

My husband (being the champ he is) created a map for us to follow with all the pinpoints of the murals we wanted to check out. We weren’t able to catch them all, but we enjoyed ourselves and made it almost like a game. Arrive, change clothes, run over to the wall, take photos, change again, run back to the wall, take photos, run back to the car, hit up next destination. A few of the walls were across the street from each other so that made it easier.

1. Sugar and Cloth Color Wall
3302 Canal Street
Houston, TX 77003
*Update: This wall is no longer available. A bunch of cotton-headed ninnymuggins painted over the wall!

Isn’t she adorable?

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When we arrived, we didn’t realize it would be in a very populated parking lot next to a gas station. It made outfit changes difficult since my car doesn’t have tinted windows. A few of the men that were at the gas station ran over and asked if they could have their pictures taken with Sarah and Kayla, Sarah convinced them that she was famous and they didn’t question her for a second.

2. Synchronicity of Color “Art Boxes” by Margo Sawyer
Discovery Green Park
1500 McKinney St
Houston, TX 77010

This park was really neat, there were multiple different colored “Art Boxes” scattered through the park. We didn’t pay for street parking so we only hit up one and made it quick.

Kayla being the spider monkey she is, managed to climb up in my 5-inch heels and pose like a queen. Right up until the rent-a-cop blew his whistle and made her climb down. Nice shot Kayla, nice shot.

3. Zipper Colorful Wall by Kelly Graval (aka Risk Rock)
1513 St. Emanuel
Houston, TX 77003

This was in a huge graffiti park and the parking lot was completely empty so we had the ability to change and snap pics as needed.

 

4. Red and Teal Diamonds
Chinatown Printing and Graphics
2102 Leeland St
Houston, TX 77003Twinning. Just Kidding, she already has a twin.

I am super clumsy and couldn’t manage to balance on that pole on my own, thanks for the help Sarah.

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¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

5. American Queen Mural by Michael Savoi
3100 Smith St
Houston, TX  77006

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6. Biscuit Paint Wall
1614 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX  77006

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img_2622Again! SO ADORABLE!

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Here is a pic of Sarah’s backside. Looking good cuz!

7. About Rocks by Russell Etchen
Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main St
Houston, TX 77002

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My friend Aylin (Houston local) stopped by for some sushi and a quick snap, we’re a trio the 3 of us.

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There you have it!
Come to Texas and put Houston on your list. Come for the Tex-Mex, STAY for the murals!

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Phun With Photoshop

Over Christmas break, my graphic design major/professional blogger sister-in-law gave Joel and I a free lesson in how to use Adobe Photoshop. Mostly we learned how to enhance photos using filters, brightening/darkening tools, etc; but we were also introduced to the Liquify tool and our lives have changed for the better with this new way of entertaining ourselves…

Let us show you:

We took this boring old wedding photo and made it much more interesting. See how natural my boobs and butt look before? ughhhh, BOOOORINNGGGG! My favorite part about the after is Joel’s hunchback.

One, two, three, KARDASHIAN! I’m a big fan of my big fanny in the after photo.

I guess our kitten, Peter, was kind of cute before, but he looks even cuter as a bug eyed big eared cat!

Installing Photoshop is different than it used to be. Instead of paying for the whole program at once, it is now $10/month (which is a total steal if you’re adding it to your entertainment budget). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cry from laughing so hard.

NOLA

Nothing makes me feel more Hashtag Blessed than my ability to travel. 2016 was a pretty amazing travel year for this girl. I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to spend my 27th birthday in one of my all time favorite cities, New Orleans, with one of my oldest friends, Liz. Talk about the cherry on top of an entire year’s worth of metaphorical exploration cake!

When it comes to exploring The Big Easy, this was not our first rodeo (it was actually my 5th time in NOLA and Liz’s second!). Because my dad spent a chunk of his youth in this city and it’s an easy 8 hour drive from my hometown of San Antonio, we went four years in a row from the time I was 20. I have thoroughly enjoyed wandering around and eating our way through New Orleans with my dad and sisters, but I had never really witnessed or experienced the whole “drink-hand-grenades-and-let-your-freak-flag-fly-on-Bourbon-Street” to its full potential. Now that I’ve been there, done that, I have to say I’m a big fan…

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To say we front loaded our trip would be an understatement. Liz and I met at the airport, took a 25 minute Uber to our hotel in the French Quarter, checked in, freshened up, then headed out. Our first stop after a full day of traveling and fasting, was to get Po’Boys. The sweetheart concierge, Will, recommended NOLA Po’Boys, which was a quick walk from us. Since this particular place didn’t serve alcohol, we crossed the street to a bar and got our hurricanes to-go. Open Container Laws, schmopen Smoshainer Laws; THIS IS NEW ORLEANS, YO! After lining our stomachs with onion rings and bacon grease, it was time to brave the infamous Bourbon Street Bars.

As we walked down the street trying to be picky about where to go first, we were beckoned into a bar almost immediately. “Come here and we’ll let you ride the bull for free!!!” Crazy Joe, long time patron and mc of The Swamp, yelled at us from inside. We sat down and chatted with our bartender, Megan, while enjoying the 3 for 1 beer special and getting up the guts to actually ride the mechanical bull. Steve, the bassist for the cover band hitting the stage that night, bought us birthday shots and 5 minutes later, invited me onstage to play tambourine with the band. I wasn’t even shy about it, but that’s probably because Liz and Crazy Joe were the only people in the audience (it was 7 p.m. on a Wednesday after all). We may be from Texas, but neither Liz or myself have ever been on a bull, mechanical or otherwise. It was definitely a bucket list item for me, but I made Liz go first (I’m v bossy on my birthday). I just about died laughing watching her teeny tiny body flip over the bull with little to no effort from the bull operator! During my turn, my insanely powerful thigh muscles finally showed their worth as it was a cinch for me to grip the bull using just my legs. True story, I had to make an effort to fall off!

Even though this place was such a blast, we didn’t want to put all of our Bourbon Street eggs in one basket and skedaddle’d out of there. The progression of the rest of the night was as follows: bar with Wall Street looking douchebags who will probably buy us drinks, being ignored by Wall Street looking douchebags and buying our own gosh darn drinks, meeting some nice fellow Texans who want to buy us drinks, flashing my wedding ring but letting everyone know Liz is single, me becoming bff with fellow married person wearing a Stetson and the two of us attempting to wingman Liz and a Turtle From Entourage lookalike, Titos and Tonic, Titos and Soda, Fireball shots, sneakily pouring Fireball shot onto the ground while everyone else took theirs, leaving bar with Texans to go to The Cat’s Meow Karaoke Bar, Liz falls in the street, Liz uses Sean Paul’s hoodie to clean her wet butt, beer, drop iPhone from balcony without cracking it, snapchats, beers, my Stetson wearing BFF sings Dave Mathews Band karaoke and I question our friendship, bead throwing, balloon stealing, balloon popping, shots, dancing, goodbyes to our new friends, convenience store for gatorade and ibuprofen, oh shit they have egg rolls here, let’s get some egg rolls, we get egg rolls and fries, make our way back to our hotel, wolf down egg rolls while watching HGTV and pass out. It may not sound like much, but it was a very fun way to start my 27th year of life.

The cloudy, cold weather the next day really reflected our moods. We were hungover AF, but in desperate need of Cafe Du Monde’s famous beignets and chicory coffee. We spent our day walking around and eating and napping. Come nighttime, we slapped on some false lashes and went to a fancy birthday dinner at Cochon/Butcher in the Arts District then back to Frenchman Street for cheaper drinks and jazz music. The night ended at Dat Dog on Frenchman with a stranger coming up to tell us how pretty he thinks we are. Ego = fluffed.

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On our last full day in town, we walked around and I took most of the pictures in this post. We went to Hotel Monteleone to pay tribute to their beautiful carousel bar and to see if we could sneak up to their rooftop pool like my dad did in the 60s (we got so close, but were thwarted by the locked doors). We spent most of the day in the beautiful Garden District, eating (duh) and window shopping at the amazing boutiques, furniture shops, and vintage stores.

My love for this city knows no bounds. The citizens of New Orleans have been through hell and back, but are still the nicest people I’ve ever met. If you ever get the chance to go to this marvelous city, take me with you… or at least tag me in all of your photos so I can live vicariously through you.

p.s. It’s been a week and I’m JUST NOW regaining feeling in my legs after riding that damn bull.

Dat Dress Doe

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I remember wedding dress shopping like it was yesterday… I made an appointment to try on dresses almost immediately after Joel and I got engaged (I may or may not have been watching the crap out of Say Yes To The Dress and Instagram stalking my potential bridal shop for months before). We hadn’t even set a date yet, but I figured I’d go try on a few dresses and get a feel for what I wanted our wedding to be. I’d always pictured myself wearing something fitted with long lace sleeves and possibly an open back? The dress I’d been imagining was giving me Fall Wedding vibes, but with a lot of succulents and cactus everywhere. My secret Pinterest board was a hot mess.

If I can give any bride a piece of advice when it comes to wedding dress shopping it’s this: GO TO A SMALL BRIDAL SHOP! Wedding dress boutiques are where you will not only be treated like the GD queen that you are, but they’re really not that much more expensive than buying a dress “off the rack”. I went to Glitter and Grit, an amazing by-appointment-only shop down the street from us, and was shocked (in a good way) to see their dress selection was nothing short of amazing and I never, NOT ONCE, felt pressured into making a purchase that day.

My entourage and I all took turns picking dresses for me to try on and I loved each one more than the next. I distinctly recall seeing this Nicole Miller number with lace cut outs and saying “oh I’m definitely trying on that slutty dress”. When I put it on, however, it wasn’t slutty at all. It was classy and flattering and so ME. I bought it that day. Wow. That was easy!

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Soon after buying my dress, all of our other wedding plans and visions were quickly falling into place and becoming clearer by the day. Date? Set! Venue? Booked! Bridesmaids? Chosen! Save the Dates? SENT.

IT. WAS. HAPPENING.  With the help of Jen Rocket (local seamstress extraordinaire) and Spanx, my dress fit like a glove.

Something magical happened when I put on my wedding dress on the day of our wedding. I knew I would never look or feel as beautiful as I did that day so I was trying my best to own it.

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Joel had no idea what I was going to look like before I walked down the aisle because I’m way too superstitious to do any “first look” garbage. He was pleasantly surprised… “VERRRRRRR NICE!”

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I completed my wedding look with knock off Valentino Rockstuds (thanks, Ebay!) and a simple, gold OMG necklace (thanks, Laura!). I kept it pretty simple, with my hair down and flowy, and let my dress do the talking.

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all photos by Leann Christine Photography

 

There are quite a few more wedding posts lined up for the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

3 Out Of 5 (Adventures in Cinque Terre)

After a lovely time in Venice, Joel and I took our pizza filled bellies to the train station to head to the western side of Italy. We knew we wanted to visit the beautiful villages that make up Cinque Terre, but to save some money we followed Joel’s sister’s advice and stayed in the much more accessible, metropolitan city of La Spezia (at this sweet airbnb with the nicest hosts). When we arrived at the station in La Spezia, we had trouble using the kiosk to buy our tickets to both Cinque Terre and to Nice for the next leg of our trip. Come to find out, Trenitalia workers were on strike for the rest of our time in Italy. NBD, we’d just have to get creative in the transportation department. No trains? No problem.

There was a pamphlet in our room that advertised taking a boat to Cinque Terre, so early in the morning we set off. Sounds easy, right? Well, we were staying on the side of a mountain, with no Uber or Lyft available, and the marina was miles away so how would we get to where we needed to go? THE BUS, OF COURSE! Oh, if you ever have the opportunity to take a bus in small town Italy, do it! Joel and I were by far the youngest people on the number 12… picture a bus filled with your grandparents and all of their friends bonding and speaking Italian. Sooooo freaking cute. We gave up our seats to an elderly couple and I will never forget the look of genuine gratitude the woman gave me while she squeezed my hand!

After Google Maps took us to an office building instead of the boat we needed to be on, I was ready to throw in the towel and hop back on the bus with the adorable old people and play BINGO or bridge or whatever. But the marina was just across the street so we paid the 20 euro for our round trip tickets and were on our way!

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The boat did not go to all five towns like was advertised, but only to the first and last of the five towns. We got dropped off at the furthest town, Montessoro, and had to swim to shore. Just kidding, there was a ramp…

Montessoro- the town with the best beach.

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After finding out the seaside trails that link the towns had been closed due to construction since 2011, we decided to check out the train station just to see if any trains were running despite the strike. No harm in trying! 5 minutes later we were in transit to Manorola.

Manorola- the perfect pastel town that you see in most pictures when you look up “Cinque Terre”.

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I find feline friends in all the cities I travel to. That, in and of itself, could be its own blog post.

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We walked down to the sea and saw people jumping into the freezing cold Mediterranean. I wanted to do it too! Me, my hair extensions, and 4 other American tourists cannon balled right in. Freaking amazing.

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I mean….. HOLY SHIT, RIGHT?! So stunning.

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I pretended to be disappointed when we couldn’t find a way to access the hiking trail to the next town. “Ohhhh man, I really really wanted to do that hike… Oh well, wanna get gelato? “is what I was saying to Joel when we were overheard by a couple who had just completed said hike. “Just start on those steps over there and they’ll take you over the mountain. Be careful, though, it gets pretty steep and the steps kind of disappear” the man told us. “OH WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH” I said while giving him a death stare behind my Ray Bans.

Alright, let’s do this shit…

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Just when I thought I couldn’t take another step up that freakin’ mountain, I was passed up by a 6 year old…. It’s only a quarter of a mile, but when I reached the top I kissed the ground and my sweaty husband. Then we made our way to Riomaggiore, the last of the 5 towns we’d be visiting, and the promise of gelato.

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Going down was much easier (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID) than up, but we still had to take it slow and watch our footing. One slip meant certain death, and I was still not into the idea of dying on my honeymoon.

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Riomaggiore- the town with the red house, gelato, boats, and beer.

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3 out of 5 isn’t a bad amount. We’ll get you next time, Vernazza and Corniglia! This was the most adventurous and exhausting part of our trip, but so absolutely worth it.

Our boat picked us up in Riomaggiore to take us back to La Spezia. Here, we had pizza at two different places in a row before taking the bus home to watch our favorite Italian game show for the last time….

Arrivederci, Italy.

Wall Crawl Vol. 1

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When you think of Detroit, Michigan, some things that probably come to mind are: extremely high crime rate, bankruptcy, decrepit/derelict houses, or bitter cold (It’s So Cold In The D). You may also think of cars because Detroit, also known as the Motor City, is the automotive capital of the world.

Even though I’ve only been to visit twice, Detroit seems like a pretty cool city! They have a ton of cute coffee shops, an amazing public library, and some really gorgeous architecture; but my favorite part of the city is the street art. Detroit has some of the most beautiful, colorful murals I have ever seen, and they’re everywhere. As much as I love to look at pictures of myself, throw in a colorful background and all bets are off.

 

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Most of these works of art were found in alleyways and parking garages. It’s now my mission in life to find the color in all of the cities I visit, even if it’s below freezing and both mine and my sexy photographer’s hands are red and chapped from the cold…

 

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Happy Birthday to ME

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Today is my twenty-sixth birthday. I don’t understand how people ever complain about getting older. Did you, like, peak in high school? I freaking love getting older. I welcome each new year with open arms. It’s part of my lifelong plan to age “gracefully”. Gotta be grateful for each full year of life that you get, man.

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26 is nothing to write home about or anything, I mean, I didn’t get another pair of Louboutins like I did for my 25th, but it’s still a great age. I plan on making a big deal out of all of my birthdays not just the “important” ones. Also, 26 is the age I will tell people I was when I got married! BirthDAY < Wedding YEAR.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c3 presetI feel like I am becoming the woman I am supposed to be. I have found a hair color that works for me, I’ve accepted that being pale and ghostly is probably better than skin cancer, I know how to highlight and contour like a boss ass bitch, I am continuously told how much I remind people of Jennifer Lawrence, and my style is, in my humble opinion, at an all time high. All of that physical stuff aside, my relationships with my friends, family, and fiancé are stronger than ever and continue to bloom and grow. I have a confidence that borders on narcissism, but I don’t even care because if loving myself is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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Dress/Target, Jeans/Obey, Beautiful Face c/o makeup & a good night’s sleep

Cheers to another wonderful year filled with life, love, and keeping up with this blog. xoxo.