Pinterest and Blogging

Like many others, I love Pinterest. It’s a great way to organize beautiful things, and it’s so dang easy. It also is interesting for me to look at patterns in my taste and such. Pinterest has expanded my blog-exploring, and I enjoy being able to branch out.

But, there’s a but. In some ways, Pinterest has taken some of the “magic” out of a great number of blogs that I read. I know what posts are coming based on their weekly pins. Well, for me, it’s sort of like peeking at the corners of a Christmas package– you know what’s coming, and you wish you hadn’t seen it.

As a blogger, there are times when I used to, and still would love to, post collections of things I love, interesting things I’ve found, or styles I’m crushing on. Now I just feel like it would be a rehashing of my (and others’) Pinterest pins. Wedding gown favorites, fabulous alternative dresses, excellent shoes, beauty, and so forth. For instance, I have a newfound bug for wanting ombre hair color, and love love colored tips. But, I’ve already visibly pinned these things.

In short, blogging is about creating original content, which I love doing, but it’s also a lot about inspiration gathered from across the board. (I’m talking inspiration in the visual sense, not verbal. I’ve never been one to write many posts about feelings, deep thoughts, or the like. I appreciate bloggers who “go there,” I just don’t. I like reading their advice, lots.)

What are your thoughts on how Pinterest has affected/is affecting blogging, or if you’ve even noticed it. (Or even know what Pinterest is!) I might just be talking crazy.

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Why does Snoop Dog carry an umbrella?

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26

Today is my birthday. I’m 26.

A year ago today, I was in the midst of heavy wedding planning, a bout of pneumonia, getting everything in line for my exit show, and freaking out a little bit about being 25. Well, year-ago me, 25 was pretty great. Let’s hope that 26 is pretty great as well.

I’m thankful to have such wonderful, patient, loving, and supportive family. (Ok, Wednesday isn’t really patient, but we’ll overlook that. She can’t help it if she believes it should be cat time 24/7.)

Since I don’t really have anything profound to say, here are some early Lauren birthday photos. I still make that same cake face, and I do get ketchup all over my face from time to time.

Hooray for cake, and hooray for another year.

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Pretty Ugly Pie

A week or two ago, we bought some downright awful apples. (Serves me right for stepping away from the ever-reliable Granny Smith variety.) I’d been on a hunt to figure out what locally-grown rainbow-ish red apples that I bought a few years ago at a produce stand, and, well, these sad McIntosh apples were not the same. I know not all McIntosh apples are mealy and tasteless, but these were. Sorry, tangent.

Anyway, I couldn’t bear throwing away (sort-of) perfectly good (ha!) produce, so I wanted to at least try to do something with the little devils. Enter a Google search, a weird want for pie, a need for something moderately not-awful-for-you, and something low maintenance, I found a “Rustic Apple Pie” recipe by Ellie Krieger. (She makes me want to claw my eyeballs out on video, but some of her stuff is very well done.) The fact that we were snowed in coupled with my lack of want to fall on my hiney while walking to Publix led me to make a few changes to her recipe. (If you want to read/look at hers, go right ahead.) I was surprised at how ridiculously delicious it was, and how ugly, yet slightly charming, it was. Want to make it? Go for it.

Pretty Ugly Apple Pie

Ingredients

1 cup of whatever flour you have on hand

2 teaspoons of granulated sugar or sugar-substitute

2 pinches of table salt

4-5 tablespoons of COLD, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons skim milk

3 tablespoons ice water

3 apples (I used 2 of the mealy-awfuls and one Granny Smith)

Juice of one lemon

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

(Here comes a ghetto part!) 2-or-so tablespoons from a low-sugar Cinnamon and Spice Quaker Instant Oatmeal (The original recipe called for cornstarch as a thickener, and cinnamon as a seasoning, but I had neither on hand, so I improvised. 4 stars for this improvisation, I think.)

Another tablespoon of brown sugar

Boiling water

Directions

For the crust, haul out a food processor. Combine the flour, salt, and granulated sugar in the food processor, just a few whirls. Then add the butter and pulse until combined. You’ll notice little sandy pebbles form. Add the skim milk and ice water, then pulse until it turns into a nice dough ball. (Hooray for a virtually zero-effort pie crust.) Flatten the dough ball a little, wrap in plastic, and pop in the freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

While you’re waiting for the dough to firm up, core and slice up your apples and toss in the lemon juice. After they’re coated, add in the brown sugar and instant oatmeal mixture (or cinnamon and cornstarch, if you’re not going renegade). Mix around with your hands to combine.

By this time, your dough is ready, and you have two options. Option 1, the option of a sane person, is to roll your dough ball out, with a little bit of flour, until it’s about 9 inches in diameter. Option 2, the option of someone who accidentally THREW THEIR ROLLING PIN AWAY WHEN MOVING AND DIDN’T REALIZE IT UNTIL THEY WERE MAKING THIS PIE, is to manually smush and stretch your dough out until it’s about 9 inches in diameter. (Kind of fun, like making pizza dough.) Place your rolled out dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, aluminum foil, wax paper (probably not the best option, since wax paper sometimes likes to get smoky at high temps). Mound your apple mixture in the center of the dough, leaving as close to a 2 inch border as you can. Stretch sections of the dough up and slightly over on the sides, and fold/pinch the joints together.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes. Pull the pie out when the crust is brown and the apples look cooked.

Make a quick glaze from the tablespoon of brown sugar mixed with a little bit of boiling water to your desired thinness. Pour over edges and center of delicious (and probably ugly) pie. Cut into six wedges, then try not to down it all in one day.

Ellie’s recipe has 230 calories per wedge, and I’m guessing that mine is a hair lower than that (BRING IT!), given that I omitted raisins and buttermilk. Don’t take my word for it, but I’ll bet it’s pretty dang close.

Go forth, make easy ugly pie, and eat it.

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Sidney + Dahl | Teaser

A few images from Sidney and Dahl’s beautiful November wedding. Dahl’s adorable, and Sidney is a total knockout!
Sidney looked like she was straight out of a CoverGirl ad. Can’t wait to share more!

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Pierson and the snow

In early December, Pierson and I were surprised with some beautiful light flurries during her portrait session. It was very exciting given that Atlanta rarely gets much snow. (Little did we know that we’d have a Snowpocalypse on Christmas AND this past week. Woops!) It was great fun running around with the snow whirling around us, as well as just talking and laughing! Hooray for Pierson and such a fun time.

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Miss Luna

A few months ago, my aunt, Becky,  got a beautiful Sphynx kitten named Luna. Over the holidays, I was able to make portraits (and play with!) the sweet girl. Huge eyes, beautiful coat, and a hilarious personality.

Luna, you can visit us from Dallas anytime. (Well, as long as Wednesday approves!)

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2011!

Happy happy! I hope everyone had a very happy, fun, and safe holiday. I’m in list-making mode, so I thought I’d hit the high points and do a quick 2011 update on things to come!

1. First, mad thanks to BrideTide for naming me one of the top 100 wedding blogs for 2011. (I guess this means I should really get back on the recap train, right?)

2. I’m in the process of finishing a big ol’ portfolio/business site aside from the blog, and I’m very excited to get it live. Will make booking and such much easier, and much less around-your-elbow. So yes, new site, coming soon.

3. Along with the site, I’m re-doing the blog. If things look funky around here, I’m probably tinkering. I’ll be moving my photo blog over here and just combining it all. I started to see no real point in having to separate blogs, since I had a lot of cross-over. Also, total re-design over here. Yay.

4. A hair of the bleh: I’m having major hosting problems right now. Servers are VERY SLOW, and anything php-related is getting the shaft, so my wordpress sites, including this site, have been almost impossible to load, post, blog, edit, etc. Maddening to say the least. If it’s not remedied soon, hosting will be switched.  In short, my sites are acting broken, and it is not my fault. Apologies for slow loads, if it even loads at all.

Again, happy 2011, and hope to be able to blog normally again!

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