photography

sweet summertime.

Hola!!

Random fact: This is actually the longest I’ve ever went without blogging since I started it back in October of 2011!  I took off most of May and all of June, but the good news is that I’m backkkkk!  I’ve realized my neglected blog needs some love too. 🙂

It seems entirely insane to me that already half the year is over.  I need to continually remind myself to just take some deep breaths, look around, and take in my favorite time of the year.  Temps in Texas have been a refreshing 95 degrees (ha!), but hey we’ll take anything under 100 this time of the year.

PS. There’s not too much news to report around here.  We traveled back to the Mitten in June to celebrate 2 awesome weddings (my friend Kaytee and Nate’s brother Matt), and also have had some visitors in Texas recently, too.  I haven’t taken many pics lately, but here are some from the trip to Michigan:

Ludington, Michigan

chalkboard wedding sign

Kaytee and I

lite brite!

(Yes that is a Lite Brite, and yes I took at least 3 pictures of it during the night because I was so freakin excited.)

State Theatre -  Traverse City, MI

putt putt

Crystal Lake, MI

kayaks on Crystal Lake

Matt & Lynn!

Lynn and Ethan dancing

bearded lover and I

sandy feet

Sunset over Lake Michigan

 

It seems like more and more lately, I’m reminded of how extremely lucky and blessed we are.  We have a home with tons of potential, a loving pup, good jobs, and been on some great trips this year already.  Reflecting on it all, life is good!

 

 

10 places, 5 states, 8 days: southwest roadtrip guide

The week after Christmas we spent 8 days traveling to California and back.  By car.  That’s over 50 hours driving.  You may think I’m crazy, but it was one of my favorite vacations ever.  It was my first time to the Southwest.  And through those 8 days I covered more ground than some people do in their lifetime.   I drove through the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.  I got to see the Saguaro Cactus, which is native only to the Sonoran Desert.  I hit all 4 seasons.  Felt the warm Cali sun and played in the snow all in one week.  It was a mix of things.  It was life changing.

Southwest Roadtrip Guide - Vim & Vintage Blog

 

1. Scottsdale, Arizona

I loved Scottsdale. Beautifully landscaped, impressive bike trails, gorgeous mountain views.  Make sure to check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, Taliesin West and Old Town.

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2. Jerome, Arizona

Blink and you may miss it.   It’s that small.  Off the beaten path, you’ll find a hillside artists’ colony that may be one of Arizona’s best kept secrets.  Jerome popped up on the map as a mining village, and is now home to some great art galleries and boutiques.  Ghost lovers take note:  word is it’s haunted!

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3. Sedona, Arizona

Gorgeous red rock formations.   Photos never do any justice.  We were just passing through, but I want to go back, explore, hike and shop in this colorful town.

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4. Flagstaff, Arizona

Not even a couple of hours north of Sedona we hit snow!  If you love skiing or sledding, this is your place.  In recovery from my initial shock, it was hard for me to believe we were in Arizona still!

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Drive on the other side of the mountain and you find grassy plains of nothingness.  Sometimes a whole bunch of nothing can really be cool.

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5. Grand Canyon and Historic Route 66

Doesn’t really need much of an explanation.  A must see!

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6. Laughlin, Nevada

We don’t have much footage but Laughlin is like a desert oasis.  This casino town is built on the river that borders Arizona and Nevada.  Rumor has it that it’s one big party in the summer, with jet skis, boats, and of course gambling.    Here’s a pic I found online of it’s high season:

Harrah's in Laughlin

(source)

 

We stayed the night at the Golden Nugget.  I’m not too much of a player (I just crush a lot), but I played Black Jack for the first time and turned my $5 into $50 in 5 minutes. This creeped me out and we left.

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7. West Hollywood, California

We stayed in WeHo for 2 nights at the Farmer’s Daughter & loved it.  I did my happy dance after eating heavenly Chicken & Waffles at Tart.

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To sum it up, W. Hollywood was lots of excellent food, trendy vintage boutiques, and great design shops.  The picture below is from my favorite, Style de Vie.  Check it out. It’s awesome.  Just saw a couple weeks ago Lonny named Style de Vie one of their “Next Big Names”.

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8. Pasadena, California

If the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl wasn’t already on your bucket list, you should add it right now.  What a great experience! (It helps when your team wins of course.)  I had been to LA a few times before and never realized just how cool Pasadena is.

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9. Los Angeles Beaches, California

This trip we hit Venice, Santa Monica, Manhattan, and Redondo.

IMG_6405The first two pics are from quirky Venice.  Probably one of my favorite places in existence.  Everyday it’s different – you never know who or what you’ll see.

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The next 2 shots are from the Manhattan Beach Pier.  It was my first time here.  Definitely won’t be my last.

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Next is Redondo Beach.   We spent some time walking the boardwalk and checking out the harbor.  The boardwalk has a pretty amazing arcade in it.  I rode the Tilt a Whirl and felt 13 again. But then I got off and almost threw up.  Some things are not better with age.

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10. White Sands National Monument – Alamogordo, NM

Ever since Boyz 2 Men shot the video for “Water Run’s Dry” at White Sands, I put this landmark on my Bucket List.  Because if B2M does it, it must be cool.  And it surpassed my every expectation.  It was truly amazing.  Can you believe it’s the largest gypsum dunefield in the world?  Just one big white beach in the middle of nowhere with a mountainous backdrop.   Bring the family and play on the dunes, or bring your camera and become an instant photographer.

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lately.

Austin, TX! - Vim & Vintage Blog

Let me sum up life for you in the last few months in one simple word…..  Work.

Lots of it. Yes there are other things I do from time to time.  Like eating, sleeping, and keep up with the NCAA tournament (my bracket may be busted, but GO SPARTY!!!).

MSU - only the best school ever!(credit: Michigan State Spartan’s Pinterest Page)

My new job is not so “new” anymore.  I’ve been there almost 6 months already!!  I can’t believe just how fast time goes by.  And as I’ve gotten familiar with all of our active jobs, my involvement level has risen.  We have so much going, we are extremely blessed.  I wake up thinking about it at 6am, and before bed I’m typing up a quick to-do list in my phone of items I can’t forget to do in the morning.  I’ve been dreaming about it too.  Sounds scary?  It is.  It’s insanity, but a good insanity. The kind that challenges me, tests my patience, and pushes me out of my comfort zone.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  And I’m not dead yet.

We’ve got some cool projects in the works.  And here’s a preview of a very modern one we are doing with Foursquare Builders:

Home Exterior - by Foursquare Builders in Austin TX

(rendering is property of Foursquare Builders)

Living & Kitchen selections - Vim & Vintage blog

master bath selections - Vim & Vintage blog

What else is new?  Hmmm….. I got a new car – a little charcoal gray Ford Focus.  This is pretty big news for me because I’ve never had a car payment.   I’m kinda (extremely) cheap, so of course I got a good deal on it.   (Having a dad in the car business is quite a nice perk I might add.)  The only inconvenience was I had to go pick it up in St. Pete, Florida from my dad’s house.  I KNOW, IT’S A ROUGH LIFE.  So my friend Brooke came with for a long weekend and we turned it into a little trip.  I got to see my Dad and the ocean, so I was a happy girl.

No visit to the Tampa area is complete without hitting up Busch Gardens.   I love that place!  It just makes me so happy and reminds me of my childhood spring break visits.  We splurged and did the safari and got to feed the giraffes, which I totally recommend.

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On the long drive back we stopped by my old home, Destin.  It was my first time back since we moved to Texas almost 3 years ago.  I felt so good to be back, even though it was just for one night.  It’s just so beautiful and laid back.  I will always have a special place in my heart for this area.  And, like Michigan, it will always be my home away from home.

Seaside, Florida

Florida Sunrise

Sunrise near Pensacola, FL

We definitely felt the effects of the polar vortex in Texas this winter.  I even woke up to snow on the ground one morning.  Actually it looked more like Dippin Dots ice cream, but whatever.

Snow Day

In the last few weeks Spring has sprung.  The weather has been much warmer,  so it’s time for me to come out of hibernation.  We have a lot of home projects we want to accomplish before the summer heat strikes again.  We’re running a 5k next weekend, and as you may remember, it is my first.  And I’m totally not a runner, so this is a pretty big deal to me.  I hope I can do the whole 3.1 miles without stopping – I’ve never been able to before!

Life is good.

Oh and Nate and Maci are both doing great!

Family.

(all images belong to me unless noted otherwise)

blurred lines

Much like the song, here’s 6 items that I can’t get out of my head.

>>>>>>>>>

1:  Photography by Amy Theiss Giese   (Etsy)

geometric abstract photography by Atgeise

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2: Blurred Water Abstract iPhone Case (Society 6)

 blurred water abstract iphone cover

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3: Blurred Lines Acrylic Painting by ArianasMisc (Etsy)

Blurred Lines by ArianasMisc

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4: Blurry Things by Trever Hoehne

Blurred Photography by Trever Hoene

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5:  Artsy Pillow Cover by Wayfarer Prints (Etsy)

Blurred Pillow Cover by Wayfarer Prints

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6: Watercolour Bokeh Ocean Canvas Print (Urban Road)

Bokeh Ocean Art

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The beautiful things in life are perfectly imperfect.  ❤  Happy Saturday!

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(all photos link back to their original source)

Red Bud Isle: where dogs (and people) roam free

Over the weekend, Nate & I spent the day in Austin.  After getting some lunch and meeting up for a short shopping stint with my Aunt & cousin, we wanted to kill a couple of hours… but didn’t have any clue of what we wanted to do.  So we drove.  I pulled out my phone and was like “let’s go here” and pointed to some random island near Lake Austin.  So it was completely by chance that we stumbled upon Red Bud Isle.

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As soon as we parked (which FYI, parking is limited), we soon figured out this place was devoted to man’s best friend.  Basically it’s an island where dogs can roam free, off leash.  (Unfortunately, we didn’t have our little furball with us, but we plan on bringing her sometime soon.)

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There’s lots of random paths and trails. Totally not uncommon to just see dogs chasing each other through the woods.

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So serene.

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This was my favorite spot.  At the very tip of the island, there is a tree and all of it’s roots are exposed.

tree at red bud trail

My favorite picture.  Sigh.

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Of course I had to add some pictures of our furry friends we met.

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This dog below is Sidney. She’s 14. What a doll.  I can only wish I look that good at 98.

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So if you and your pup are looking for a fun time in Austin, I suggest you go check it out.  Because of the terrain, don’t be surprised if your pooch gets wet and/or muddy.

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(All of the pictures belong to me.  If you would like to use, just ask – and share my blog with your friends too of course!)