reading list | 05

May 14, 2017

Writing book reviews would not be my daytime job, I don't have a way with words like some people when they write reviews. Imagine the people who write and choose the New York Times bestseller books. Not me.


I have been reading on and off, some books really keep me going and others I only keep going because I started already. Book #5 in series of 2017 is All the Light We Cannot See. It is based in back in history during wartime. It walks you through two characters and their stories as they grow up to present day. I loved the short chapters, it kept me reading.

There was a great storyline.
Marie-Laure is attempting to make it through the war with her father and uncle, walking blindly through a new city. Werner reminds me of Liam, curious and full of technical capability. As I read Werner's dialogues, I would tell Liam how they were similar. This was another book in the time of Hitler, surprising that I have read historical fictions and enjoyed both!

This is a must read for the summer. It is from a few years ago, but worth going back to.

happy may

May 3, 2017


Tis the season for beautiful florals and a bunch of birthdays.
May is one of my favorite months of the year because it begins the warm weather and my birthday! In less than a week I turn 30! I don't feel 30, nor do I remotely look 30, which everyone tells me is great. It's great to an extent but when everyone believes you are a teenager, it's a struggle. Celebrating with friends is my favorite part about birthdays. The best part of my birthday is that I get to share it for the rest of my life with Liam.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, we are prepping to get back to working on the house and fixing her up nicely. We have a ton of projects to do, I don't think it ever ends when you are renovating. It's the beauty of it all. The pollen is getting to me, I make sure to carry around my life line of Zyrtec. Anyone else having these issues?

Some plans for May.
We have our first wedding of the year. One of Five. Yup. We thought it was less but we added two more. Cinco de Mayo wedding! I love weddings! Love love love weddings. We haven't done much planning for our wedding and ended up changing the date to a week before so we could get our photographer. I absolutely love her and wanted her badly enough to switch it.

Since ROCtheSHOT I have been wanting to shoot more and was so excited to participate in the Styled Shoot. I will definitely post about it soon. For my birthday, we bought a new camera! I upgraded to a full-frame Nikon D750. After the shoot and seeing all the people with full-frame and how easy it was to shoot, I craved it! YAY FOR BIRTHDAY GIFTS! I want to get into photography and start shooting people, maybe second shoot for a wedding. My goal this year is to shoot at least one wedding, even if it's a second shooter or a small five person wedding!

It's going to be a good spring! Well, once the weather gets nicer! Hopefully where you are, it's spring weather!

updating the driveway

Apr 19, 2017

We had a 3-day weekend for Easter and nice weather so it was a win win situation to do some yard work! The previous weekend we spent raking all of the dead leaves into bags, which we realized was not a good idea. We found out that our neighborhood will come to pick up the leaves if you leave them in a pile in front of your yard. So we will be dumping them next for next Monday's pickup! The weather cooperated for the most part with some showers in the middle of the day. You can see by the bright sunny skies to the gray hues it turned later. Poor Liam in the rain, this is why he's so awesome.

We also found out that our truck needs a real hitch.
The former owners, or even the ones before them, attached the hitch to the bumper, which we bent last weekend when we were trailering the stump grinder. We took it to our local shop and it was recommended not to trailer because our bumper would be ripped off! Oh god. So we were able to get the help of friends with trucks to trailer stuff for us. It's so nice to have friends!

Before it looked like the pseudo driveway there, we had a pine tree and two bushes that created our driveway. You can get a glimpse of it here from when we started the renovations. Whenever it rained, we had a huge mud pile and the truck would get stuck. We went from 1-car to 2-car mud pit. So we wanted to make it better and here we are with this past weekend!

Now we have a driveway!
Semi finished. I saw semi because we need more rocks to have it completely flush with the sidewalk. Also, the yard is now in shambles with soil and rocks scattered throughout. This week it will rain and we will be gone for the weekend in New Jersey. The last few days, Liam has been fixing the shed roof, which was leaking. Liam was enjoying all the heavy equipment he got to use during this excavating. Look at how different it is! So much of our greenery removed to clean it all up. I wish I had a better picture of the house before we did all of the removals.

I love being able to park our cars here without sinking into the mud. We also have a large driveway on the other side of the house where his dad parks and we park our other car. Yes, we have 3 vehicles, sedan, SUV, and a truck- we're all set! I can not wait until we clean up the grass and put some surroundings around the driveway and create garden beds.

Projects on top of projects on top of more projects now that the weather is getting nicer! Yay for moving toward completion! From anyone who has done home renovations, it's never complete haha.

life lately

Apr 14, 2017


Seriously, I am still loving the photo session from Roc the Shot and just signed up for their Styled Shoot. Super excited to see that shoot and meet the girl boss who made the planner I mentioned before. It is going to look so awesome and I will probably be jealous that my wedding won't look like it!

We went to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and I have yet to upload photos and chat about the awesome city. We had such a good time there and plan on revisiting when the weather is warmer. The reason we visited was to see a concert from a singer who I loved in high school, not a solo artist and still amazing. I can definitely say that concert was unlike any I have ever been to and loved it.

Wedding planning has not been happening. I think we understand that we have so much time left to plan things that there is no real rush for us. We booked our venue as I said before and we could not be more excited. I have been searching for photographer, videographer, caterer, bakery, you name it but nothing is set in stone. Plus, we are still trying to save money for everything. Weddings ain't cheap!

Spring cleaning is happening in full effect around here. Last weekend our friends rented a stump grinder and brought it over and helped us with the yard. We bagged 9 bags of leaves and still have a few more to do. This weekend will be yard work and housework. WOO!

The weather around here is getting warmer and it has been super nice to take the dogs for a walk. There is more light and we don't have to bundle up to walk. I especially love the walks when the two of us get to have our little family back together and enjoy some alone time. It becomes relaxing and gives us some exercise.


Enjoy the weekend, I hope the weather is nice wherever you are!

roc the shot

Apr 6, 2017

Photography has always been something I wanted to pursue further, even if it was a hobby and not a career. I never intended on having photography as a career, but as a side gig? I could totally be down with that. Getting started and building a portfolio and a name for yourself is the hardest part, it is always the getting started part that is difficult. This is how I feel about working out too.

I did a lot of wedding vendor searches and I came across Rachel Liz Photography. I think I found her on Green Wedding Shoes or through other avenues like clicking too many links and having a million windows open. I am sure anyone planning a wedding can relate to this mess. But back to the real reason for this! I found Rachel Liz Photography and loved her work. It came to my attention that she taught a photography workshop and it was so exciting for me! It had been a long time since I really took my camera out and used it for taking authentic photos.

So I dusted off the ol' camera and signed up for two workshops with Roc the Shot. It is taught by Rachel Liz Photography and Lindsay Stephany Photography. Workshop I is geared towards people who really do not understand their camera, they teach you how to shoot in manual, the ins and outs of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. I think I could have gone without this one but it was great to understand the idea around manual settings. Workshop II is geared towards people who want to make a business out of photography or get into the business. There was only three of us in the class and it was really fun learning about how people create a business around it. We were able to practice shooting a couple. We learned all about posing tips, interacting with clients, and creating your brand/business.

It was awesome.
I learned so much! I got to practice! Now all I need to do it figure out how to use Lightroom. They have a class on that too! Although, I don't think I will be taking that because I am going to sign up for their Styled Shoot. This workshop will be all about wedding photography! They will create a wedding and we'll be able to shoot it to add to portfolios. I am so excited to see how this one will turn out!



What I learned after the workshops?
    1. I take too many pictures, I need to be better at taking a few good shots instead of 100 'meh' shots. 2. Manual mode isn't so difficult, but Aperture setting is okay too. Don't use the Shutter setting. 3. Dude should always keep their hand sin their pocket unless his hands on his girl. 4. Rochester is not that far of a drive, yay for day trips. 5. Practice. Practice. Practice. 6. I need to find my style and what I like.

I miss having hobbies and I am excited to see what I can come up with in this hobby.

Latest Instagrams

© oh hello sam. Design by Fearne.