A Couple’s Photoshoot

Typically I usually capture landscapes when shooting, but this time I got the opportunity to try something a little different–people. I was lucky enough to be able to photograph two of my friends who are dating and I was pleasantly surprised at how my pictures turned out (since the two are very photogenic, it was all on me on getting some great shots!).

It was easier than I expected in the long run. I really enjoyed the couple’s session and want to definitely keep taking pictures of people. Even the weather seemed to be on my side that day since it was cloudy, which works well for portraits. The pressure was on because everything was as best as it could ever be for this photoshoot–so I needed to use my skills to the best of my ability.

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

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Why Chicago Pizza Oven Grinders Is A Must-Try

When I decided to move to Colorado for college last year, I knew what I was giving up; seeing my dog everyday, my bed, having a kitchen right downstairs. But what I realized that I actually started to miss was the pizza (and I’m not a big pizza girl). Colorado might have super dope dope, but their pizza is far from it. Its almost not worth eating.

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But this past weekend I went to the Windy City with my boyfriend’s family to try Chicago Pizza Oven Grinders–and I just about died. I can’t begin to explain how amazing the food was, which makes leaving for school again that much more difficult. Oven Grinders is by far one of my favorite pizza places now.

On North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois resides the narrow, three-story brick building where the magic happens. I had been told not to eat anything big the day we went, so I was starving when we got there for dinner. There is always a wait no matter what day or time you go, so when I heard ours was two hours I was thankful it wasn’t any worse.

Unfortunately, that night it was raining so the standing room for waiting was full of people and getting pretty sweaty. But toughing it out is totally worth it. And what’s really cool about the whole process of getting seated is that the owner looks at you, memorizes the order of the people who come in, and how big your party is. The rules are that if you leave and come back or if your whole party isn’t present then you won’t be seated.

*Note: They only accept payment in the form of cash so be sure to know that before going in!*

Lucky for us, we got seated after only an hour (even though the time he tells you is usually spot on). At this point, I was more than ready to have food in front of me.

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Chef’s Salad

I was told that the Chef’s salad and Mediterranean flatbread was amazing–and when I got the chance to try it, it was! I got full on that alone, without my pizza having been there yet. The Chef’s salad had two dressings to mix together–poppy seed and garlic–which sounds weird but was delicious. And the flatbread was super large and thin, so as it sat in the middle of the table, everyone could tear off pieces closest to them to eat.

 

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Mediterranean Flatbread

It was finally time for my pizza–which is actually a mix between a pizza and a pot pie. The pot pie is cooked upside down and then flipped over, bowl scooped out of the center, and placed on your plate before you. I had the option of meat sauce or veggie sauce, mushrooms or no mushrooms, and white bread crust. I ordered the meat sauce, no mushrooms, and the white bread crust, all of which made the meal perfect for my specific tastes. I got the half-pounder (compared to the one-pounder) which was plenty, with leftovers, and totally out of my fridge the next day.

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Your new favorite meal

It was the best pizza meal I think I have ever had and I was in a food coma for hours to come. The meat sauce was my favorite part of the meal, followed closely by the crust. I wished I had had a bigger stomach to finish it all that night, but the leftovers were almost just as great as in the restaurant. I give this place a 10/10 for anyone who knows their pizza.

And although driving through Chicago isn’t the easiest task, I can’t wait to go back. Chicago Pizza Oven Grinders is a must-try whenever you’re in the Windy City.

 

To My Favorite Authors

to my favorite

Its National Book Lovers Day–yay! So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to praise those who wrote some of my favorite books and exactly what it has meant to me. Reading has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have my mom (and these authors) to thank for that, without whom my days would be boring and not full of vividly hallucinating while staring at slivers of trees.

When I was in first grade, I went to the school library to check out the first Harry Potter book. As a little girl, the library was like being on another planet, and everywhere I turned I was looking up in awe at all the books I had yet to read. It was honest-to-god like Belle in Beauty and the Beast minus the beast. So when I was told the book was “too advanced” for my imaginative little mind, I went home defeated. Little did I know, my mom would not hear of it. She dragged me down to the public library where I could get as many (and ANY) books I wanted. To this day, I don’t know where I would be if my mom hadn’t gotten me that first Harry Potter book.

Shortly after, reading became my life. I engulfed myself in books every day, every spare minute I had, and the rest is history.

J.K. Rowling

Of course, J.K. Rowling leads my list, for my childhood favorites but also mine now. Harry Potter opened my mind to fantasy and magic in such an imaginative way. I strongly look up to her creating a whole new world for us all to indulge in and this led me to writing my own fantasy novels (which also may be about magical lands). It is a series I can reread over and over without getting bored of.

James Patterson

I have to say James Patterson is who really got me into writing–more so than Harry Potter even. His Maximum Ride series blew me away (literally!). Although his writing is a little simplistic for my taste now, he gave me an undying need to write, to get words down on the paper, and to forget about everything else for a little while. He gave me an escape (and also 60 pages of a story I wrote in sixth grade) and theres nothing else I could have asked for from him.

Henry David Thoreau

As I’ve studied more and more American literature through school, I have completely fallen in love with it. I obsessed over Walden for weeks during my last school year and I have HDT to thank for that. His writing is stunning–but really he and his life is. I have found my obsession for reading as he had for writing and specifically “living deliberately”. He is a classic author time and time again.

Emily Dickinson

Yes, she may be dark and twisty, but she is a fantastic writer. Her words (which it doesn’t take too many at that) make the reader feel something–it is moving. I would love to be able to create that kind of depth inside my readers, which is what captivated me from the very start. Analyzing her writing and poetry really got me into descriptive, dark scenes and imagery with my own writing, which is great for any kind of writing really.

Edgar Allan Poe

I had read some of Poe before in high school, but what really made me love him was “The Cask of Amontillado”. It is creepy, suspenseful, dark. But his writing is amazing to be able to do all of that with more anticipation than I’ve known in some scary movies. For his words to shake a person like his do, I believe it to be inspiring. Poe has given me the gift of suspense and using it to kill off the characters I don’t like (and most are based off real-life people haha).

Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books which makes Charlotte Bronte one of my favorite authors. Although we had deadlines in school for how much we had to read each week, I was far above and beyond that. I fell in love with the love story, which I have very high standards for, and didn’t look back. Brontes writing, although extensive at times, led me to expand my plot, my characters, and my relationships. She gave me the push to start reading more classics, which is almost all of what I read now.

Daphne Du Maurier

I have to say that she is my favorite author attributing to my all-time favorite book–Rebecca, which was written in 1938. For an author to never go out of print decades later is stirring. I strongly believe it should be a classic. Her intricate, mystery story is what brought out my own mystery writing, with depth and secrets and complexity. Du Maurier is a remarkable writer with a remarkable mind, and I’m shocked she is so underrated. I have her to thank for my love of books that are love stories, fictional, and don’t involve a vampire and werewolf (thank god). She has motivated me to write many of my own stories that are even written in her time as well, which is difficult, but worth the challenge.

These authors have done so much for me–as for reading and my own writing. They have inspired me in different genres, different writing styles, and different mindsets. I fell in love with reading and I don’t think I can ever fall out of it. You can almost always find me with a book in my hand and its them I have to thank for it.

A Sunset At A Barn

I haven’t posted much of my photography on my blog–so here goes! A few weeks ago I spent about a half hour or so at a local, rustic barn about 10 minutes from my house. The wild flowers and fields gave a great contrast of color against the barn, as well as added some texture when put against the sky. Although I don’t use too many fancy settings on my Canon Rebel T5 DSLR, I have learned some pretty neat tips and tricks along the way (thanks Pinterest!). I hope to further my knowledge on using my camera, but I also don’t want to lose the spontaneity in just shooting what is right in front of you.

Here are a few shots I captured that night:

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