Del Sol Photography

While I was unable to afford the amazing (astounding even!) Del Sol Photography, I thought I might take a moment to introduce you to them assuming you have the money to afford them. If I could have, I would have had them shoot my wedding, because they are sooooooooo AMAZING. I could spend hours just looking through their blog! (I should, however, warn you that you may not want 'little eyes' or 'boss eyes' looking over your shoulder when you are on their blog. Not everything is PG. However, it is all absolutely beautiful.)

© Del Sol Photography

© Del Sol Photography

© Del Sol Photography

© Del Sol Photography

Isn't their photography just... *sigh* ??!!  :)

One Last Edited Image

This picture was almost unusable when straight from the photographer, so you have no idea how excited I was to crop this image and brighten it up! I just thought it was so sweet the way that Justin is holding my hand and walking out into the sunset. (No comment on the cars or awkward looking tree sitting on Justin's shoulder. I was too lazy and uninterested in taking the time to find out if editing these things out of the image would be worthwhile.) I also thought this was an awesome way to showcase the back of my hair from the day of. :)

As always image © Darwin Young and editing © me (I promised my photographer I would not take credit for his image and I would not give him credit for the editing. He didn't want anyone thinking my editing was his work. It's not. I promise.)

Margaret Whiting

If I had known about Margaret Whiting when I got married, you can bet that I would have included her in my reception playlist. I just stumbled upon "Time After Time", and I love it. You should go give it a listen. :)

Editing Wedding Pictures

image © Darwin Young; editing © Yours Truly + Pure Photo Actions

I've been working on editing some of my wedding photography, because I am never happy. Using Pure Actions, I have been pretty happy/excited about photos from my wedding that had not thrilled me before. When I tried printing this one, it turned out purple. I'm thinking the printer I was using was out of ink though, so I will try again with one of my printers. (I had been using Justin's.) So what do you think? Pretty? Or does it still need some work?

Julia Child

Justin and I have been a little obsessed with baking and Julia Child for the past week (since we made the most amazing 6 layer cake EVER!). It started when I watched Julie and Julia on Julia Child's 100th birthday. We then watched clips of Julia Child on Youtube as well as episodes of The French Chef on Amazon Prime. We got to hear stories from our family about how they did crazy things with their own cooking during their teenage years after seeing an episode of The French Chef back in the 60's and early 70's. Now Justin and I are trying to find a Julia Child recipe to try (which is harder than it should be considering all of the things I will not eat).

I also found the romance of Julia and Paul Child to be mesmerizing. I love how Julia Child and Paul Child did Valentines Day Cards for the friends every year "since they couldn't ever get anything together in time for Christmas". I think it is adorable how they supported one another and did everything together whether it was supporting his career by traveling or when Paul Child became Julia's manager and official photographer for her cookbook. I do not think she would have had the success she did without her husband's encouragement and support. (Behind every great man is a great woman... and vice versa. Apparently.)

Justin and I also spent a lot of time cleaning and "hanging" with people. We are hoping to have a few dinner parties in the next few weeks and reconnect with friends. We'll see how that goes. :)

P.S. We walked to my alma mater a few nights ago and sat on the porch swing talking and enjoying the summer night. I discovered that this is one of the few reasons I love the area we live in and especially the south as a whole. Who else would enjoy crazy old buildings with huge porches and swings listening to katydids late at night?

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts (in a Yummy Cake)

Photo credit: rhyndman via / CC BY-NC-SA

While Justin and I were in Charleston, we tried the most amazing coconut cake at Peninsula Grill. After noticing how many steps were involved and how long the cake-making process would take, Justin and I decided to give it a try. Justin was determined to learn how to make a cake. I just wanted to watch.

Involved in making the cake:
- a few hours of cake recipe reading including Martha Stewart's version and Food Network's
- watching Alton Brown make cakes and coconut cake via YouTube
- watching Peninsula Grill chef, Robert Carter, make his coconut cake on the Martha Stewart Show (1, 2)
- shopping for cake making supplies using ScoutMob at Cook's Warehouse, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Publix, and the Farmer's Market
- grilling and hammering on coconuts

Notes about the cake:
- It is 12 POUNDS! 
- When making the filling, keep mixing the entire 4-5 minutes when you go to mix it before putting it on the cake. Trust me. It makes a difference.
- Hammers are useful when getting to the coconut meat.

After having tasted the filling, the cake, and the frosting, Justin and I are certain that this "birthday cake" will be a hit at tonight's birthday celebration for my brother!

Would you consider making this delicious cake for someone's birthday? Or is it too involved…? Have you tasted this amazing dessert from the Peninsula Grill in Charleston?

Wedding Albums

First thought: Aahhh!!

Having interned for a photography company, I've known for quite a while what I do not want in an album. The ever-popular flush-mount album is the newest style. I may have loved the style before working on one, but I now know that I despise that particular style of album. In that style, the images are printed (sometimes in a collage format) onto the book pages. Cheaper versions of the album look like a children's book whether they are merely hardcover or hardcover with a dust jacket. Either way, in my opinion, they do not look that impressive. For what they are, they take a lot of work in Photoshop that I just am not willing to give. These albums seem to be overdone, and I am not the kind of person that like to be "normal".

Cypress Album

I am looking to do a matted album. When I started looking at my options for matted albums, I had no idea there were sooo many! There are a lot of options for flush-mounted albums, but matted albums seemed like they would be much simpler. I was wrong. Or maybe I just haven't found exactly what I want. The books I am looking at usually have a space for a picture in the very front, but you can get the album without. On top of that, you can choose between fabric and leather for the cover. One of the coolest things I think I've seen is where they the binding is done with ribbon; however, you can also get the binding done without ribbon. I have not seen the option yet, but I am looking for a book with gold or silver around the edges of the book pages (i.e. when the book is closed and you are looking at the page edges). I am also looking to have our names and the date engraved on the book.

I think it is absolutely crazy how, in book searching, I have found so many options! It has taken soo much time to explore my options that I haven't even begun to think about the layout of the images or what kind of matting I will need. I also have to pick out the pictures based on the number of pages I have available to me in each book as well as the sizes of the pictures for each of the pages in the book! This may turn into a long drawn out process...

... which is why my first and main thought has been: aahh!!! ;)

Five Month Update

Justin and I have been up to no good in the past week.

I'm currently in the process of putting together an instagram photo album of our trip to Charleston. I bought a really cute little book made out of palm leaves that I cannot wait to fill. I will be using Printstagram to print the photos in little 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares. However, printing with this company means that all of my photos need to be edited by instagram. I am not finished yet with doing that, so... we will see how it goes.

In the mean time, I've decided to start picking out which pictures I want to put in my wedding album and getting those edited/printed. I also have to look for a super-awesome album with which to put the pictures in. Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm looking for something traditional where you slide the images into the album as opposed to printing images into the book. I'm also planning on exploring the paper I will have my images printed on.

Justin, on the other hand, is working on bettering our house. We recently bought an outdoor hose which I have been asking for for months! We also got a soda siphon, so we can start making our own soda/drinks. (I imagine Justin will experiment with it a great deal since he loves exploring new flavors and creating his own tastes.) Finally, we (or he) started working on the grill my parents had given us (that was originally from my grandparents). Justin started cleaning it up. He more-or-less tore it apart and gave it a good cleaning. He killed many of the bugs that were hiding in the grill and got the dirt and old stones out of it. There is a lot more that has to be done before we call the process completed, but I know Justin is looking forward to the day when he gets to use it for the first time! He says I have too much confidence in his ability to pull things apart and put them back together better than they were before, but I like to think that I just know my husband that well. :)

Over the weekend we also did random things like getting the Idle Speed Control Valve for my car, getting the sapphire in my engagement ring tightened, getting my rings cleaned, getting Justin's hair cut, and getting my computer looked at. (Apparently the logic board in my laptop is bad, so I get to leave it with the Apple store for 3-5 days while they fix it. Anybody have a spare computer I can use? :-P)

Who would have thought that it would take us so long to get our house "set up"? We are just so glad we finally got our budget worked out, so that we can afford a few extra expenses here and there.

Charleston: Foods Review

One of the BIG things Justin and I share is that we love to try new restaurants. (Justin, probably more than me since he isn't as picky in what he eats.) A lot of time was spent scouring the internet for the best eats in Charleston. What better place to explore restaurants?

1. S.N.O.B. (Slightly North of Broad) - This is one of our favorite restaurants in Charleston. No matter what we order, we always seem to get something absolutely amazing. I am extremely picky and yet there is always something on the menu that I will eat.

The atmosphere at S.N.O.B. is lovely with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. It looks like a place you can take family/friends as well as coworkers. You can sit in the back of the restaurant and watch the chefs cook or you can sit in the front and look out onto the streets of Charleston watching people.

Justin and I ordered a vegetable plate. The chef chose approximately 10 fresh vegetables that were being used in the restaurant that day, and it was absolutely amazing. It may be the best, most unique vegetable plate I have ever had! Before our meal even came to us, we were served with the most delicious soft bread and cornbread. Past experience has shown that S.N.O.B. also serves amazing steak and salads as well.

While I wouldn't necessarily suggest this restaurant for parents, it is definitely a must visit for foodies.

2. Homily Grill - This restaurant was one of the most suggested breakfast restaurants that I found from my search online. It truly looks like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but it really is not. It is just a cute little restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

Breakfast is good; however, I was not WOWed. I'm not sure how you can make a WOW out of a simple breakfast (bacon, biscuit, grits). I was really pleased that the bacon was thickly cut smoked applewood bacon rather than the thinly sliced Waffle House really badly done bacon. I also loved that the juice was freshly squeezed. Yum. :) Would I go back? Maybe.

3. High Cotton - Fancy but service was sub-par. Justin and I ordered chicken after we seated ourselves in the bar area. Apparently the restaurant was fully booked and reservations were a necessity. Oops. The food was good... delicious even, but with service being sub-par and the live music playing loudly in our ears... I just cannot recommend the restaurant. The sad part is that I had high hopes since it is a sister restaurant to S.N.O.B. :(

4. Peninsula Grill - OMG! Sooooo delicious. Granted Justin and I just got the 12-layer infamous coconut cake. We sat at the bar, but we felt welcomed and enjoyed talking with the bar tender and other tourists and customers at Peninsula Grill. We had the most fun. Justin got an expensive single malt scotch to have with his cake while I got a glass of milk. I was thrilled that the bar tender didn't blink when I asked for a glass of milk but rather asked me what type of milk I would like! On top of it, Justin actually ate and enjoyed the coconut cake which is truly impressive for someone who 1) doesn't like cake and 2) doesn't like coconut! Yay! May have to try Peninsula Grill for dinner at some point. However, keep in mind that PG is not the cheapest place to go. For amazing food and service, I would love to try it though!

5. Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar - This is one of my favorite places in the city. While Justin and I have never had the food, the view is absolutely astounding especially during sunset. Justin got an expensive drink, and I got pictures of a sunset over Charleston. I do not recommend the restaurant for the food simply because it is expensive and service is not great; however, I do encourage visiting for the view.

6. Three Little Birds - What a fun little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that we found using yelp. Sadly our third last breakfast was only so-so. Three Little Birds has a variety of fresh juices, and the restaurant is exceptionally cute. We also loved the shirts the wait staff wore that said "Peace, Love, Pancakes". It was definitely a place worth trying even though we weren't terribly impressed with the breakfast.

7. Crave - One of the most interesting restaurants we went to during our entire trip to Charleston, this little hole-in-the-wall place also does catering for the golf tournaments held on Kiawah Island. The food surpassed my expectations, and Justin truly enjoyed the seafood. We were only one of a few people that came into the small restaurant. I would definitely "crave" the food from crave if I ever found myself on Kiawah Island again.

While there are soooo many restaurants in Charleston, Justin and I have only found a few must-go-to restaurants that we absolutely love and look forward to visiting any time we are in Charleston.