Thursday, December 31, 2015

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year!

Cheers to a great 2015, and here's to an even better 2016!

(Also, I made this holiday wreath to decorate at home! I've never made a wreath before... and this is definitely the Charlie Brown version of one. But I think he's so cute! Too bad he was so dry after being on the wall for a while and so many of his needles fell off when I took him down to take this picture... whoops...)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone! Hug all of the people you love, eat lots of delicious food, and enjoy that snuggly holiday feeling today!

Photography by Scott Rounds.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Arminho Studio Visit

Unfortunately the light was pretty flat the day I visited the Arminho studio in Porto, and the photos show it (sorry!), but I couldn't not post about these two super inspiring Portuguese makers.

João and Raquel are the ultimate DIY couple. I have been following their gorgeous paper goods line Arminho for some time now. They rescued some classic machinery (including a letter press), spruced it up, and put it to modern use. Notebooks in proprietary patterns and original illustrated wall hangings are the core offerings. During my visit I got a tour of the studio and basic process of production and also a sneak peek at their recently launched knitwear brand Camelotia. Machine knit in house by them, they're making sweaters, beanies, and very cute throw pillow covers. They are also experimenting with ceramics as a possible new line or extension of one of the existing ones. (Of which Joáo offered me a piece as a gift and I FORGOT it! Sadness...) And oh, in their spare time they completely renovated the interior of a VW van themselves which they take on camping trips. And they've got a sweet little backyard garden.

Their energy and seeming endless motivation to further their skills, find new challenges, and make things with their hands was so inspiring. Before I knew it, a quick pop in turned into a 2 hour conversation. I left feeling so uplifted by their attitudes and talents. Thanks to João and Raquel for such a welcoming visit!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Family Ties

All of the pictures in this post were taken in Foz do Arelho. My great grandfather was born there and emigrated to the US almost a hundred years ago. Seeing the town was a surreal moment, a bucket list item I had always dreamed of and finally checked off. It's small, doesn't even have a proper grocery store (that I could find). It's likely that they take care of most errands in the small nearby city of Caldas da Rainha, about a 10 minute drive. Most architecture seemed pretty modern and there was a lot of construction happening. A small town growing into a small beach getaway resort or weekend retreat destination perhaps? It made me wonder... what was even there a hundred years ago? They didn't even have cars yet. Things have no doubt changed so much in that place over these years since my ancestor left, but the things that can't have changed, are those views and that water. One hundred years is so long, and so short.

There is rumor that someone in my family (which is big) still has the deed to an old piece of land there, an asset that my great grandfather brought with him. But I don't know who, or if it's even true. I've heard other rumors of eminent domain taking it away from us. No one seems to know what the deal is. And we don't have family there either. It felt, being there, like anything that would have tied me to that place in a more physical way had been washed away or built over in more recent years. But when I went to the Municipal Archives in Leiria to retrieve his, and my great grandmother's, birth certificates the attendant found them in about 5 minutes. I thought they might be lost in time but it was that quick and easy. And it was a tremendous feeling. We move on from the past and our connection to it diminishes. But this was truth. Real connection. Real history. That place is in my blood. It was thrilling.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lisbon Favorites List

Here's the Favorites List for Lisbon! Writing this made me miss it, can't wait to go back and explore more! (And eat way more sardines and caldo verde...)

List after the jump!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lisboa, Lisboa, Lisboa

Lisbon feels pink. Not in a frilly, girly way, but in a mature, dreamy way. The lioz marble that covers the entire city has pink tendencies, antique buildings are painted in desaturated hues, and every night there was a hazy pink sunset. Pinks everywhere in all of the most gorgeous, subtle, dusty shades.

Going to Portugal, and Lisbon, was a dream come true. I have wanted to go there since I was a teenager because a set of my great grandparents were from small towns in Leiria and I've always felt really close to that heritage. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect though, my family has become so Americanized over time, but being there felt so natural and the people are so friendly and the food is so fresh and simple and perfect. I know that this is not the only trip I will ever make to Portugal, instead, it felt like an introduction. The first step in an on going relationship.

Photos after the jump...

Monday, October 19, 2015

MF Ceramics

Hello world! I swear I'm working on those Portugal posts, but man it takes some time to sift through the thousand photos I took and curate a story and edit them. And this month is crazy, work not stop, packing, moving, so much going on! Super soon though! I loved Portugal, can't wait to share.

What I can share now (because I didn't take any decent pictures when I was there) are some images from the website of MF Ceramics. I visited Margarida at her studio in Lisbon at the LX Factory one afternoon and had a great conversation with her and her husband about Lisbon and how it has been changing and tourism and the makers community. And, of course, bought a bunch of her beautiful handmade ceramics for the prop collection, Very cool people, and a lovely visit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I always have the best intentions of maintaining my blog on a regular basis, no matter what. Consistency is key. Right? But my reality is that I get caught up and put life first. Whether it's the immediacy of being on set and working time crunches or the indulgence of a long awaited vacation. Sometimes I just can't justify taking my efforts from the things that I consider priority. That said I can't wait to get back to posting and share this amazing month long trip to Portugal. So inspiring! So happy. I have so much to post. Will be back home this weekend, hopefully will get some posts up starting next week.

Friday, August 21, 2015


I just discovered this fantastic line of Japanese ceramics, Awabiware. I ordered a few of their pieces for the cookbook shoot that I was working on for the last two weeks in North Carolina. They came on time all the way from Japan, beautifully packaged in boxes and Japanese newspaper, safely in tact, and perfect for the shoot. I love them! Interesting shapes, textured matte glazes. The shipping cost was a little hefty, but I will definitely be ordering again. Truly lovely product. If you don't speak Japanese (which I do not) their Esty shop is easily navigated.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

DLF // Travel Essentials

I love how my newest post for DesignLoveFest turned out, it's my favorite so far! Thanks to Ryan Dausch for the good set hangs and some great photos. Gotta update my portfolio with a couple of these soon...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How To Make Good Summer Salads

I posted this photo last night on Instagram and it got me thinking about what makes a salad good, like really deliciously good: Variety (which is also happens to be the spice of life). Different flavors, different textures, and some heavier components so that you aren't hungry twenty minutes later, make a salad a winner in my eyes. I also think all that variety inherently gives you a salad that is more nutritious and nourishing than the usual old lonely lettuce. And keeps your taste buds happy. So here I've listed out my thoughts on the essential, delicious making elements that should go into a salad.

Thoughts after the jump...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Interview With A Prop Stylist

Lonny Mag did a little feature about me, my work and my thoughts on Instagram for their Instagram Stories column. So happy to have been a part, love the way it turned out! Thanks Lonny!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Ruinart + NYC Ballet

I get to do so many fun, beautiful projects with Alice. This shoot to promote the partnership between Ruinart and the NYC Ballet has been one of my favorites so far this year. Great color palette, great product, and I got to work with people as props in my still life compositions! That doesn't  happen often. Can't share all of the images yet, but here are a few of the ones that have been released.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Copy Cat

I've been seeing this too often. Generally, I've seen it happen to my peers, it rarely happens to me. But I just need a quick minute to say...

Copying is not cool.

Right? What the hell? I am incredibly inspired by my peers and mentors, all of you out there. I think we all swim in a pool of transference where we influence and inspire each other. But ultimately, we process that input and bring our own voice and interpretation to the table. I understand being inspired by others, I am constantly inspired by everyone around me, they teach me and change me, but copying is beyond that realm. It's a totally different thing. It's not ok. You would think that would be super obvious. But I guess for some people it's not. I know the saying goes that "Imitation is a form of flattery" but straight up knocking off someone's hard work and taking credit for it as your own is not flattering. Actually, it's plagiarism, and incredibly hurtful and disrespectful.

A friend recently pointed out this example, where my own work was the target, on Instagram. My image, this first horizontal one, has been on my website since the beginning of the year.

The copier's image, below, posted a few weeks ago.

I commented on the post saying "Woah! Inspiration is cool, but straight up copying is not." Yes, that was a bold move on my part but, you know what? You gotta stick up for yourself. And they took down the image immediately. Guilty conscience much?

I know people have questions about social media and what the rules are- But really? I think it's pretty simple. Any content or output or creation anywhere is subject to the same code of ethics, copying in one place or medium or industry is not more ok than copying in another. Ethics are ethics. Copying is not cool. Rant done. Just couldn't keep seeing it without calling it out, friends. If you see something, say something. You know?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DLF // StyleGrids

Turning my Style Grid column for DesignLoveFest into a regular thing! Two recent ones out now are all about cute work out stuff and a fun beach day. More to come!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Paris Favorites List

Here it is! I decided to just go with one big post instead of breaking it up into restaurants and shops. It's a lot of post. All of my favorite places visited on this trip, compiled neatly for your traveling inspiration. And any tips you guys have are greatly appreciated, looks like I should be back there in September. Yay! 

Side note: Do you guys ever go on vacation and come back and kick yourself for not getting enough photos? Or good enough ones. Or any at all with you actually in them? That's me all the time. The only upside to that dilemma (because it does make blog posts harder to pull off when you didn't, you know, actually take pictures of the places you want to talk about) is that the reason I usually don't get the snaps is because I'm caught up enjoying the moment. And just don't think of it. Until later. Two sides to that coin I think.

Anyway! Enjoy the post! Give me your suggestions! All the infos after the jump. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roasted Rhubard Compote

Rhubarb is one of those fleeting spring treats that I totally appreciate now, but never used to understand because my family didn't eat it when I was growing up. A couple years ago I decided it was time to explore this mystery tart vegetable thing and took some home from the farmers market, no idea at all what I would do with it. Maybe strawberry rhubarb pie? I mean, what else do you do with rhubarb?

I don't actually remember what I made that time in particular, just that I needed to try it. Maybe I actually made a crumble? Dunno! But we now make a strawberry rhubarb pie every year in spring (because yumtown) and I've also tried out a number of different recipe ideas, always sweet things, always delicious. This is my favorite, because it's so versatile. It's quick to cook and then you have it in the fridge available for whatever. Serve with vanilla ice cream, mixed into yogurt and granola, pilled on cake or pavlova... you name it. Could probably just put it on toast too. Good for breakfast, snacks, or dessert. Recipe after the jump!

Monday, May 18, 2015

My First Trip To Paris

I love Europe so much. Everytime I go I just want to move there. Maybe someday I'll hatch a plan and make that dream a reality. Until then, I have a month long trip to Portugal in the planning stages for fall to look forward to. We might even try to hop over to Paris for a long weekend, I would love to go back.

This was my first trip ever to Paris and, no surprise, I loved it. I can see what all of the hype is about. Since I was there for "work" (ie playing photo assistant for Alice) a lot of the time was scheduled out so it wasn't a whole week of freedom and fun and games. But, you know? It kinda was. Having to run around to all of our different shooting locations turned out to be a great way to see new and different parts of the city. Walking from one location to the next we discovered gems along the way, a cute shop or a daily market. I saw the Arc de Triomphe from the back seat of an Uber. And from one of our locations- the penthouse at the top of the Four Seasons- there it was... hello, Eiffel Tower.

I took soo many photos, so I'll have another post or two after this with more images and focused on my favorite shops/spots/restaurants from this trip. These are a little bit of everything. Lots more of them after the jump and some descriptions too!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Paris Souvenirs

True confession? More than souvenirs, most of these things are props and going straight to live at the studio. I can't turn it off, even on vacation! But no complaints, love my job, and love that it gives me an excuse to collect beautiful things. Though, next time I wouldn't mind shopping for some cute French clothes...

Paris was so fun, so gorgeous, and so inspiring. I have tons more photos to share and am working on those posts, but in the meantime this was a fun and easy post to get up first. A peak at all of the things I brought back with me. Quickie descriptions after the jump!

Friday, May 8, 2015

DesignLoveFest Contribution

A little radio silence this past week as I have been in Paris! Woo! I'll be posting images of my trip when I get back but in the meantime I'm very excited to share this post that I curated for DesignLoveFest and shot with Scott Rounds. It's a fun, shoppable still life story based on a typical work day running around the city in my shoes. Really proud of this one, check it out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shallot Chili Fried Egg & Coconut Rice Porridge

One of the great perks of working on food shoots is that there are always a ton of groceries up for grabs once we wrap. It's so fun and tempting, I always nab a few new things to try. A while back I took home a bag of Bob's Red Mill Creamy Rice, started experimenting with it, and after a few tries came up with this dish that's so good I just kept making it. I get a lot of inspiration from that moment when you open the fridge, look around, and go "Ok, so this is what I have, now how am I going to put it all together...?" I've been cooking a lot of Asian food lately (see my Kuaytiaw Naam recipe) so that influence plus available fridge ingredients equaled this breakfast. Though, this could be an any time of day meal for sure. You could even add spicy greens. Yum.

Recipe after the jump!