it doesn’t get better than this…

•May 22, 2010 • 1 Comment

I did it!

I took the plunge!

I saved my hard earned clams and bought the crème de la crème…


And last night after the battery was finally charged and dinner was a thing of the past, I recorded a pretty brutal game of Iowaopoly. Let’s just say, I acquired The Iowa River, Clinton St, Capitol St and Iowa Avenue {otherwise known as the Railroads} in just 5 rolls… And it was all down hill for Mur after that. His typical turn consisted of …


1. Move Piece
2. Consider how unlucky it is to be on Iowa Avenue, again
3. Fork over hard earned Iowaopoly dough

That’s about how it went until The Current intervened by playing some rockin tunes, successfully distracting us from the game at hand. Murray consider yourself lucky because I would have cleaned you out.


And now it is morning and I am off to play and learn and amaze myself with the amazing capabilities of this contraption. Thanks for the Iowaopoly game, Mur and I’ll see ya next year. We can catch up then, k?


what am i doing?

•May 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

The other day I was going through my photos on my computer and couldn’t believe all the photos/events that I haven’t put up on my blog. I’m not an avid blogger (as you know) but I do enjoy it when I think to do it. Really, it’s that I like to see my photos on the internet – it makes me feel special.

In the last month or so I have had just about zero free time. Murray says I plan too many things into my free time and that would explain why I don’t have any of said free time. I say that’s silly. Regardless of where my free time goes, my little projects seem to suffer the most. I think what I REALLY need is to pursue my budding career in professional scrapbooking or professional blog surfing.

While I work on the details of that career move, take a look at some of my recent ventures…

1. Decorating the apartment (July ‘09 – April ‘10):


Yeah – this one isn’t so recent, but since we don’t seem to have many visitors here, most of you haven’t seen these gracing our living room.

A while back, I bought some fabric at the fabric store then had Mur buy some wood at the wood store (insert staple gun and my aunt’s expertise) and VOILA! I have my living room wall decoration.


I even made matching pillows for the couch and chairs around the room. And I am realizing now I should have put the couch back together before taking this photo to post to my internet audience. Oh well – please don’t judge.


One of the best things about moving and decorating an entire apartment has been going through my dad’s storage room in the basement to find all kinds of neat odds and ends. I’m sure he’s thrilled for me to take the crap, and I’m thrilled to have stuff like this owl. Who can live without this?

2. Eating (ha – always):


I just really love Artichoke hearts. A lot. I have several shots of food including apple pancakes. The previously discussed Super Bowl feast and even more beer photos. All in good time, my friends.

3. Shopping + Trader Joe’s Coffee (December ‘09 – April ‘10):

IMG_2415Yum!! My favorite (perhaps because of the package) is the Tarrazu variety. It just screams “let’s go on Vacation!”

4. Taking Random Photos (another answer of … always):


St. Patrick’s day means Guinness. And a neat photo op with my moose. Random? Yes. But nifty shot to have in my arsenal? Also Yes!

5. Easter in Iowa (April ‘10):


so cute! … And in case you cant read his shirt, it says “Future Mr Right” … down right adorable! Baby-eating-steak photos to come 🙂

6. Tupelo Mississippi (April ‘10):

Birth place of Elvis, don’t-cha-know.


I went there for work. And the work part didn’t take a ton of my time so I went out and discovered what there is to discover in Tupelo MS … and I was back to the hotel by dinner.

7. Iowa City … fun, friends, food and weddings (also – April ‘10)


This one’s big because it’s awesome. Black and Gold tulips … what will that city come up with next?!


This, dog lovers, is Charlie. He is Rene and Jeremy’s little guy. What a bundle of energy! I’m not really sure he gets tired. Walks, runs and playing does not equal time to slow down. Nope – it means “let’s do more!!” But it was so great to stay with those guys. Thanks a bunch!

And then … there was THE wedding.

Wait, I didn’t know Chocolate Moose Images shot weddings! What’s up?

Good catch! Weddings still aren’t my focus but I’m trying it on. Why not experience it all? I still prefer to shoot pets … Oh, but not like that.

Last weekend I had the privilege of shooting with a great duo out of North Liberty Iowa – Drescher Photo and Design. They are a suuuuper cute husband and wife team that just ooze the professional know how of the wedding photography biz and above all a desire to wow their clients! I am going to be doing some more work with them later in the year, but for now, here are just 2 pretty photos from the wedding. I’m working on tons more – saving the best for last.



   Yeah!! Thanks James and Missy. You guys were so great!

8. Mrs. Roux (always always always):


Nuff said. She’s too cute for words.


That is a crazy fast overview of the fun photos I found from the last few months. Happy Saturday – off to eat some delicious smoked ribs. It’s hard to complain when Mur get’s grilling stuff because I benefit. Shouldn’t he feel the same about camera gear?

Lovely Iowa

•April 27, 2010 • 1 Comment

Back from Iowa with almost 1200 photos… Yikes! Be back soon.


pets? yes, please!

•April 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After taking some photos of The Pup last weekend, I’ve officially gotten back in the game. I’ve got the itch … nope – not fleas, but PETS. Come one, come all – I want to cuddle your pets {and take their photos, of course}.

Let me entice you…

taste of the Minnesota – in April

•April 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Last weekend was great. I had a to-do list with more items on it than Minnesota has lakes — yep, that’s 10,000 and counting — and I got the majority of it done! Wanna see?

I kicked the weekend off by heading over to my dad’s to get started on bottling our new brew. To my pleasant surprise, he had brought home a marvelous toy to play with …


 I lovingly call it The Beast. It is the Canon 1D — a camera that could seriously knock someone out if used as a weapon. And with that, I proceeded to photograph the entire weekend. Which is possibly why I’m so excited about it.


Bottling was fun. Never done it before but can’t wait to do it again. And with these 2 on my team, who wouldn’t want to keep working?

beer brew team

We bottled a full case of 12oz bottles plus a few growlers and some nifty flip top bottles that are, well, nifty looking. Beer tasting will commence in a few weeks. I’ll report back.


On Saturday I tried really hard to spend money and just couldn’t quite do it. A seemingly big bummer, I know. Mur thinks so too. What happened was that I went to the camera store and I had this lens totally picked out (and paid for and 3/4 of the way home) when I realized it wouldn’t work out. What a pitty!

After camera toy shopping, we came back to work on this…


We have started clearing out garden space for the year. It went so much faster than I expected due to the handiwork of  Mur + Dad + rented tiller + me staying out of the way. It was fantastic! For city kids we are going to have so many veggies. It’s not hundreds of feet of potatoes, but I think we’ll survive – and besides, I know where I can stock up on said potatoes.

So that turned into…


We finally got Roux to swim last year and reintroduced her to the pond behind the house this year. So far so good. I mean, I guess dad will have the final say on the ‘good’ matter since it’s his stinky wet dog. Either way, we had fun on Saturday – and that’s what matters, right?

Swimming led to…


Yep – who can do yard work without breaks for beer? And that turned into…


A super cool photo shoot with the pup. And if you ask her, she would agree that she needed some new head shots.



And this was all done while I was supposed to be cleaning up garden tools and/or chopping something for dinner. Of course.

Next came…


Whoa Nelly. Fancy burgers? Get down with your bad self!


Ahhhh what a great weekend! And after that? I did my taxes. What a party pooper, eh?Not so exciting and definitely not photograph worthy so I’ll just let you imagine me sitting at a computer figuring out how my business did in 2009. Pretty riveting!

work-work-work-eat-sleep … repeat

•April 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The last several weeks I have been really feeling the creativity bug. Maybe it is a result of being cooped up so long for winter. I do love my apartment but you can only spend so much time playing Wii fit and watching Legends of the Seeker. Or maybe it is that I am spending more time sitting at my computer desk at work than in my own home. Don’t get me wrong, work rocks – but sometimes I miss a glue stick and paper, ya know?

That all boils down to the fact that I think I need to be doing more with my free time when I’m at home. I did accomplish a few scrapbook pages recently but I don’t even know when that was. I think the Olympics were still on. Hmm and I’m still calling that recent?  I keep saying I need some down time to be able to focus on things like that but I am starting realize, that down time is not really on the horizon. Life is getting busier and busier, which is fabulous, but I need to take more advantage of my minimal free time and just DO MORE. Maybe sleep a bit less? Does one really need 8 hours of sleep every night? I bet I cold get by with less. I used to get by with a LOT less in college. I bet I just need to channel my college paper angst and I could get quite a bit more done. Note to self: think thesis crunch time.

This post is less about the things I have accomplished recently and more of motivation to get me to do the things I want to do. Maybe if I put ideas down on digital paper, I will be more inclined to do stuff and make time for them… Which I’m pretty sure I’ve said before, but nonetheless. Photography is my main creative love and I would never give that up but I feel like I have ignored some of my other creative hobbies lately. I haven’t done enough paper crafting. I’m not sure the last time I made a book. I still haven’t finished the scarf I started 3 years ago (which I partially can blame on the yarn being discontinued). All of the above I would really love time to partake in.

My position at work has changed (for the better!) and I am starting to feel, more than I ever have before, that I need a magic wand that when waved stops time for everyone else but me. I could get sooo many more hours out of a day if I just had that. A goal for the future, that’s for sure!

How about some cute fun stuff for inspirational purposes? I think that could be just the ticket! il_fullxfull_120479129

Who doesn’t love LISTS?! I have no idea how many times I’ve said that. I should start counting. I think this is a super cute way to keep track of all those lists. I love this size notebook and I love that font. And of course the kraft color. Aside from Avocado green, Kraft is my next favorite color to use. (No idea where I got this photo – sorry! Let me know if you find it and I will give the proper credit to the crafty one responsible.)

french poster {credit}

Oh my goodness! This artist is amazing! I have credited to her blog and you really should go and check it out. She is a French artist named Marie Desbons and her work is beautiful. I am not sure how exactly she does it but I love it. I want posters all over. It makes me think of Paris and just happiness. Thank you Marie, for being so talented and sharing it!

mom cards_batch101

Speaking of talented, my mom was an amazing artist! I absolutely love her style and ideas and I really wish I would have been able to learn more about that (amongst MANY other things) from her. I have faith that she would have been able to teach me to draw better than I can. Drawing is totally lost on me. My college drawing teacher came over when we were drawing our live model subject and took a look at my paper and said in the nicest way possible, “This really isn’t your thing, is it?”

Anyways – I just think her drawings are fantastic and I am so excited to play with some of her cards and designs and writing and so on in some fantastically awesome digital format.


Oh these are so rockin I’m not sure how I don’t have some yet! I found these quite a while ago and started making some at work and then work got busy, and now I still have no Photoshop Magnets. Anyone who doesn’t use Photoshop may think this is super lame (ie: Mur) but I think it’s awesome. So in conclusion, I am making space on our fridge for Photoshop magnets – because every fridge deserves some.


I think this is so cute! It is a little mobile and would be awesome anywhere in a home. And the photo is pretty which is always a plus in my book. Follow the link to the etsy page of leptitpapillon who makes these lovelies. There are lots of different types and I think every abode should have one. And they make me want to buy more felt.



Just more ideas of really awesome coffee cozies… or anything cozies. I think I like the apple one the best. The top middle one looks quite a lot like an egg plant and if that is true, then I change my mind and the top middle one is my favorite.

photo clip


Seeing really neat photos of Polaroids makes me wish we still had our old Polaroid camera with film in it. I came across a few yesterday from, um, 1993, which are pretty rockin. Jess circa 1993 is a sight to see, let me tell you. But I think this string of photos thingy would be really neat to do on a wall somewhere in my apartment. You can easily swap out the photos and I love the colored clips and the simplicity of it.

how is this done {credit}

This guy is one of my favorite blogs to keep up on. His name is Matt Nicolosi and he is goooood at photography. With my crazy busy job, I haven’t had as much time to read things as I would like, but this photo stuck out to me last fall. The concept and practice of making huge things look absolutely tiny with your choice of focus is really awesome to me. I think it needs to be done in doses or else all the things you shoot will look totally doll-house-y, BUT it’s awesome. And honestly, doll-house-y photos sounds like a killer concept project. Hmm, I might be on to something.

garage-sale-toys_300 {credit}

I heart garage sale season. That is really all I have to say about this. It is fantastic and I can’t wait for it to be in full swing.

Well – if it’s sunny where you are, I hope you can enjoy the day. I plan to… after doing my taxes. Ish.

Reasons why…

•March 20, 2010 • 4 Comments


583953 {credit}

Dear Murray,

I have compiled a list of 10 reasons why you should let me buy the fancy new camera I want … Please read and consider carefully before making any decision.

Reason 10: Because I have already saved money. I saved quite a bit purchasing this camera bag insert


instead of this camera bag


AND the top one didn’t even require me to purchase a new timbuk2 bag, which I thought it might. Another money saver right there. But I won’t make that it’s own reason. We can just link it with 10.

Reason 9: Because photography is not only my love but it is a fantastic job for me. And people really PAY me to take photos of their loved ones (furry or not) and tools are important for a job, as you well know. So in a short while (like, only 2 years) the camera will have paid for itself because of said job.

Reason 8: It is shiny. And new. And black.

Reason 7: Because while we could afford a vacation with the money spent on the camera, we couldn’t take awesome pictures on that vacation WITHOUT the camera. Think about that one.

Reason 6: Because I can take photos like this


and post them STRAIGHT out of the camera. No Photoshop. No nothing. Seriously, think of all the amazing photos I can take. I’m thinking of them. And they are amazing.

Reason 5: Let’s revisit number 6 because honestly, that is why you get a new camera. Superb, that’s what this baby is.

Reason 4: Because I haven’t bought ANY new camera gear in years. Literally, years. The last thing I purchased was my point and shoot, and that almost sorta doesn’t even count. Basically,  I’m due to shop!

Reason 3: Because this guy says so. And he really knows what he is talking about.


Oh – and just so you know. Another photo taken with the desired camera. Inside the camera store. And posted without any Photoshop. None. Zilch. Amazing, no? LOVE it!

Reason 2: Because it weighs 4oz. more than my current camera. Why does that mean anything?  Well, because I am carrying more weight around with me, I’m really just working out more than I have been. So it will take the place of having to get a gym membership.

Reason 1: Because let’s be honest, this is really a purchase that benefits you the most. You love having your photo taken, don’t deny it. And what better way to make you look more awesome than you already look than with this camera. Let me remind you of this photo…


And with my new camera, you would look even more fantastically GQ. Yep, think about THAT one.

So in conclusion, I really don’t see any reasons why I shouldn’t go out and snatch up this camera. And I’m sure after this fantastic presentation, you will agree.

Love, Jess