Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Yellow



Sweater: H&M | Peplum Top: Forever 21 | Jeans: J.Brand | Shoes: Steve Madden 

I am absolutely not mad about the fact that spring is returning to Salt Lake City. I am not very good at dealing with cold and spent, quite literally, 99% of winter indoors. Let's just say since the return of agreeable weather, I've busted out my heeled sandals and don't mind walking from place to place anymore.

It's around this time of year when you really start to hear from people something along the lines of "I cannot WAIT for summer!" And while that's true and I agree, I think there's really something to be cherished about spring time. The freshness, the brightness, the blossoms. Seeing tulips and daffodils planted in front yards makes me happy. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pamper Yourself with a Blowout from DryBar



When I was in New York last month, I had one of those life changing experiences that you are embarrassed to say are actually life changing.

I had my hair blown out at DryBar.

It's not your ordinary salon: They don't do colors, no cuts, and they certainly won't wax you. They'll simply take the hair you've got and blow it out so that you look like the absolute best version of yourself.

Why was it life changing? Well, other than the fact that I left there feeling like a million bucks and never wanting to do my own hair ever again, I genuinely felt pampered while I was there.  Who doesn't want to feel like someone else is taking care of them for a change? The blowouts are $40 and include complimentary drinks. The shampoo they give you might as well be as soothing as a two hour hot stone massage.

My blowout lasted four days before I decided to wash it, and required very little touching up. I ended up caving and buying some of their products - the dry shampoo helped my blowout last so long without washing.

I loved it so much, I went to a different location while I was in Chicago.  Here are my results from both times:



I am not being sponsored by Dry Bar in any way - I am legitimately just a happy customer. In a way I think I'm lucky that there isn't one in Salt Lake City, for I almost undoubtedly would have purchased one of their monthly memberships and would be significantly poorer.

Check out DryBar's locations to see if there is one near you!

Have you ever had a blowout? Would you go get one?




Saturday, April 12, 2014

FlipBurger: Modern Fast Food Dining in the South



On a recent trip to Birmingham, Alabama, a friend recommended that I go to eat at Flip Burger. I walked into the establishment with little to no idea of what to expect - in fact, the name Flip Burger had me expecting some little hole-in-the-wall burger joint.As you can see, that is not what I found.

Flip Burger calls itself a Modern Burger Boutique and boasts the decor to match. With locations in Georgia and Alabama, it offers guests a modern dining experience that is miles away from anything you would expect out of a burger place.

At Flip, the usually humble hamburger is transformed from a grease bomb into an edible work of art. “We only have two rules,” said Chef Blais in an interview with The Birmingham News. “One is that whatever we call a burger has to be ground. That doesn’t have to be beef. It can be another meat or it can be vegetable or it can be seafood. The other rule is it has to be served on a bun.” With chorizo, lamb, and crab sharing menu space with Wagyu beef, the restaurant fully lives up to its slogan “Fine Dining Between Two Buns.”

Deciding to go big or go home, I started off dinner with one of Flip's famous liquid nitrogen milkshakes - the Nutella and Burnt Marshmallow. Imagine my surprise as I watched my server pull out a blow torch and literally light the marshmallows on fire before serving it to me.  This milkshake is not for the faint of heart or weak of mind - only those with the most impressive of sweet tooths need apply.  

Flip Burger has no shortage of fried foods to enjoy before your meal arrives. Our group ordered a sampler platter ($9) so we could taste a variety of the greasy goodness this establishment had to offer.
The vodka battered onion rings with beer honey mustard ($4) were impeccable, and this is coming from someone who really does not like onions. 
 
For the main course, you have a pretty interesting selection to choose from.  The Lamburger ($12) is made with strauss lamb and topped with goat cheese, saffron pickled zucchini, arugula and harissa ketchup. The Oaxaca burger ($9) is made from more traditional beef, but topped with avocado, cilantro-lime mayo, queso fresco and pico de gallo. I personally decided to be daring and chose the chorizo burger ($8.5)  which is made with chorizo spiced pork, hasbrowns, and toped with a fried egg, manchego, spanish paprika and smoked mayo.  As a meat lover and a burger lover, I was pretty blown away.

Vegetarians also have their place at FlipBurger - the Fauxlafel burger ($8) is made with chickpeas, cucumber and tzatziki, and the Vedge Burger offers a patty made with beets, black beans and brown rice.

Overall I really enjoyed Flip Burger - it was a fun, non-traditional spin on such a classic food. Be sure to stop by one of their locations if you ever find yourself down south. 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gone to New York




I will be in New York City from now until Wendnesday, and thus there will be some radio silence on the blog until I'm back. 

Feel free to follow along on Instagram as I eat my way through the Big Apple. Pizza and Bagels will be had. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tortilla Making in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

Food and Travel. 
To me, food - and the preparation of it - is one of the best, easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to experience a specific country or region's culture. 

And when I think about Mexican food, I definitely think about tortillas. 




Steven and I had the fabulous opportunity to travel briefly through Sonora, Mexico with some friends of ours. This was an area we'd never been to and we had an absolute blast!  My experience with Mexico has sadly been limited to "Resort" Mexico - for example, my husband and I honeymooned in Cabo San Lucas. But while lounging at pools and going parasailing can DEFINITELY be put on my list as things I like to do for fun, this trip was much more exciting for me because I was able to experience Mexican culture in a more authentic way.

Puerto Penasco is a small city in Sonora, Mexico just on the Sea of Cortes. It's a desert climate, but we arrived just hours after they'd received the biggest rainstorm in years. Most of the streets were completely flooded...so flooded, in fact, that we were nervous our rented car would make it! Luckily no car engines were ruined in the making of this blog post.


One of my favorite experiences from the trip was actually on our very last day. We'd packed up all of our things and were on our way out of town, when we decided to stop to find some breakfast and tortillas to bring home with us.

The little Tortilla stand we stopped at was very typical of the area - a small attachment onto the business owner's own home where they cooked and made Tortillas.

The woman there made us all breakfast burritos (which were delicious and beyond cheap!) and we sat outside and ate on a little picnic table. This was also my first experience with Central American street dogs - there are a lot of street dogs in Puerto Penasco, and lots of them were quite interested in our meal. 


After we were finished eating, we were very graciously invited into their kitchen and were able to watch the women work as they made tortilla after tortilla!  




This brief glimpse into this family's daily life was a one of a kind experience. I feel really blessed to be able to experience another culture in this up-close way - The thirty or so minutes we were able to spend in this local's home summed up everything that I love about traveling.




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Winter Sunday



Mornings have been extra cuddly around these parts lately. Steven was not thrilled when I reached for my camera immediately after waking and snapped a few pictures, but I love soft winter morning light, and the feeling of sleepy cuddles these photos bring. These were shot on my Nikon F2 Film SLR with Fuji400H film.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When Doubt Finds You, Do What You Love.



Doubt.

What a troublesome little word to accompany an equally troublesome emotion. It’s something we all experience; we doubt the weatherman when he says it’s going to rain on Tuesday, or we doubt the extravagant tales of that one friend who everyone knows likes to embellish. Sometimes we doubt spiritual or moral ideas we grew up being told were truth.

Most of all, I think we doubt ourselves. 
I experience feelings of self-doubt on a pretty regular basis.  Are my dreams too ambitious? Am I kidding myself? Do I really have what it takes? Why can’t I just be happy with what I have?
These questions find me often, and I’m fairly certain they find their way to most people who have ambitious goals and dreams.  
Ambition can be terrifying because it creates room for failure, and the last thing anyone wants to do is fail.


As you may know, I started up a photography business late in 2012. I was living in Germany, and the lack of competition there had my business flourishing quickly and unexpectedly. I returned to the US in early 2013 and quickly discovered that apparently every other person on the planet had a photography business of their own, and were willing to charge less and do more than I knew I could to support myself and my family. Feelings of self-doubt began to manifest, causing me to question my talents, my choices, my purpose.    

At the end of a long week that didn’t go as planned, I picked up my Nikon F2 which had not been touched in some time, loaded it up with some film and decided, quite randomly, to go for a walk. It was below freezing outside with slick layer of ice coating most of the sidewalks, and the area just around my apartment building is not the most picturesque for photo taking to begin with.  Still, I was curious to test out my new light meter and actually struggled to remember the last time I took photos simply because I genuinely wanted to.

I was freezing by the end of it, but I spent about an hour alone outside, just me and my camera.
It wasn’t just fun - it was invigorating. Refreshing. Wonderful.  I returned to my apartment feeling inspired and engaged. The pictures didn’t even turn out that well! It didn’t matter. The time helped me remember what I loved to do and why I loved to do it.  


The blog world is heavily populated by entrepreneurs, which is part of the reason I love blogging so very much. Hopefully there are a few reading this who can relate. It doesn’t matter if you are a photographer, or a writer, a fashion or graphic designer, a florist, an artist. You are a creative, and you’ve chosen your field because you love to create!  Paint. Sketch. Write. Design - it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing it for you and no one else.

When doubt finds you, do what you love and remember why you love it.   

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