Engaged: Jon + Karissa

I am so excited to show off this session! Jon and Karissa are an incredible couple and I couldn’t be more excited for them to get married this September! I first met Karissa at Liberty University’s College For A Weekend (if you have you have no idea what that is – its basically a chance for high school students to experience college life for a weekend by living with college students). When I was a freshman, Karissa came to CFAW and stayed in my room. She ended up going to Liberty and we were able to reconnect when she become a part of student leadership. She is now a co-worker with my hubby! I am beyond thrilled to be a part of their day, and can’t wait to spend more time with them! They were awesome to work with! They were so much fun and were so comfortable in front of the camera. We had a blast! Thanks guys for hanging out with me this weekend! Enjoy my favs below! 

Loved this old car! I didn’t even realize it was there at first, so glad we found it! Thanks for spotting it Jon!

Definitely a favorite!

Gorgeous!

Karissa, you are so beautiful!

Love this one!

A new favorite!!

They really wanted to run in the field. Love it.

They were so brave to sit in the middle of the road for me. You guys are awesome!

Good job, Jon! Check out that bling!

To see even MORE, check out their site at: jonandkarissa.jessicamaephoto.com

The Workshop Experience

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Katelyn James Workshop experience. I loved being able to meet other photographers around the country! Bethany and I roomed together, so it was fun to be able to hang out with a friend as well! I decided to shoot a couple of rolls of film, even though I was nervous about it! Some workshops are full film workshops, with everyone shooting film, but here I knew that I would be the only one not shooting digital, and it made me a little afraid! However, I decided to go for it anyway! And those shots ended up being my favorites! I am grateful to all the hard work that Katelyn, the vendors and models put in! Thanks everyone! 

Shoot Credits:
Photographer: Katelyn James Photography / Floral design and Fashion Styling: Janie Medley Flora Design from The Bride’s Cafe / Creative Direction and Styling: Dana FitzGerald / Dress: Ivy and Aster from Bella Bridesmaid in Richmond, VA / Cake: Candy Valley Cake Company / Makeup: Emily Hudspeth / Invitations: Page Stationery / Venue: Historic Mankin Mansion / Models: Tori + Aaron of Marvelous Things Photography / Flowers: Fifty Flowers
Workshop Credits:
Thanks to the amazing sponsors that supported The Workshop Experience:

You can view the Ruffled Feature here: http://ruffledblog.com/fuchsia-yellow-valentines-day/

Foodie Friday: Ultimate Potato Soup

I named this recipe “ultimate potato soup” because I feel like its the ultimate comfort food! I invented it after I couldn’t find the perfect potato soup recipe that I was looking for! Now, I realize that it does have a lot of calories, so I only make it on special occasions! I use turkey bacon instead of real bacon, fat free sour cream instead of regular and skim milk instead of whole; so I am trying to make it a bit healthier! I LOVE soup and this is my favorite one to make and eat! :) If you try it out, tell me how you like it! :)

 

Ingredients:

Six cups of chicken broth

4-6 large yukon potatoes

1 yellow onion

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 stick butter

6 slices of turkey bacon

1/3 cup fat free sour cream

8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese

green onions (for garnish)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup cornstarch (if needed for thickness)

 

Directions:

Add the onion, potatoes, salt, pepper and chicken broth to a Dutch oven. Cook 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat or until the potatoes and onions are soft. In a skillet, melt 1 TB butter over medium heat. Add three slices of turkey bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Add two TBS of butter and melt. Once melted, pour into Dutch oven. Repeat the butter and bacon step. Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet. Add the flour and stir until combined. Add the milk and stir until thick and bubbly. Add milk mixture to Dutch oven. Stir well. Add cheese and sour cream. Stir until cheese is melted. Add cornstarch if needed. Serve hot. Garnish with reserved bacon crumbles and green onions. Serve with crusty bread if desired. Makes 6 servings.

 

Things I love

Every once in a while, I like to share some recently faves in my life! This is currently what I am enjoying now!

1. Hazelnut hot chocolate. I had one of these a couple of months ago, and now I can’t get enough of them! There is just something deliciously amazing about that combination, plus I always love hot chocolate. so this is even better!

2. Blistex moisture melt. I am a sucker for good advertisements, so when I saw a commercial for this, I knew I had to try it out. And let me just say… amazing. The commercial definitely lived up to the hype!
3. My mustard cardigan. Since I’ve gotten this, I can count on two hands how many times I’ve worn it in the last month. Yes, a little excessive, but its just cause I love it!

4. Alias. Yes, I know this show came out about 10 years ago, but hey, its on Netflix, so I started watching it. If you like spy shows (or think that you could be a spy in another life — like me) then you will love this!

5. My Contax. I love this camera! I am still learning how to use it and how to shoot film, but I am loving it!

A little trip away… and I love my hubby!

I turned a quarter of a century last week! I am like a little kid when it comes to my birthday. I look forward to it all year, even when my birthday is months away — and I don’t mean two or three months, I mean seven or eight — I give my husband ideas of things he can do for me and give me! Call me ridiculous I know! My husband is amazing though. He always thinks of great things he can do for me! (and not just on my birthday, but all year long! :) )

This year, he took me on a little over night trip to Charlottesville — one of our favorite cities an hour away from us. We spend the night, went to trader joe’s, went to the outdoor mall (even though it was cold outside!) and ate at the Melting Pot (my all time favorite restaurant!). Seriously, if you have never been to the Melting Pot, you need to go!

So maybe this is me gushing a little bit about how great my husband is, but its true! He is so wonderful, and the perfect match for me! He is truly my best friend! That is why I am so excited about my clients getting married, I know how wonderful marriage is, especially when it is to your best friend! Thank you, Chris, for always planning wonderful birthday things for me, and for always loving me! I love and appreciate you so much!

Here are a few pics of our trip! I am the worst with taking photos on my phone. I get distracted with everything that is going on, but I am working on it! :)

 

This is us!

Starting the day off with Chick-Fil-A biscuits! Another of my favorites! :) I love the Spicy biscuit the best! 

My hot husband!

Fonduing!

Foodie Friday: My favorite recipe websites

I LOVE cooking! I love finding new recipes that I have never tried before, and I also love to create my own! Ever since high school I have enjoyed cooking. My mom was a good teacher, and every once in a while, I got to make dinner for my family. One summer when I was in college, I was deemed the official cook of the house. I got to pick the recipes, go grocery shopping and make all of the meals for my family. I think that is when I went from enjoying cooking, to loving it. I usually followed recipes though and  was too afraid to create anything new on my own. It wasn’t until Chris and I were married, that I feel like I started creating my own recipes and trying lots of  new things! I owe that in part to Chopped. If you have never seen this show on the Food Network, you need to see it! It may sound weird, but watching that show really helped me to understand different flavors and spices. I saw combinations that worked well together and ones that didn’t. That started to give me ideas about different combinations that I could make in the kitchen, and some of my favorite recipes were born!

One of my goals this year was to blog more consistently, and one thing I really would love to share more of, is my love for cooking and recipes! Today, I am showing a few of my favorite sites to find recipes! Sometimes I follow a recipe to the letter, but more often, I just use recipes for inspiration. I find a recipe that looks tasty, but then tweak it and add or take a few things to make it more what I think would taste good! It may sounds strange, but for me, cooking is a creative outlet! I love all of the creativity that goes in to making a menu for the week and for coming up with new recipes! I want to share more of my favorites with you in the future! Here though are three of my favorite places to find inspiration!

1. Martha Stewart. An old classic. I LOVE the recipes on here! If you are looking for quick and easy, Martha is probably not the place to go, but if you want to spend some time in the kitchen and go a little crazy with something fancy, this is the place to go!

2. Taste of Home.  This website has a ton of southern and comfort food recipes! It also has quick and easy recipes as well if you are looking for something speedy for a weeknight dinner! Some of my all time favorite recipes have come from here! There are thousands of recipes! And they even put out a magazine as well!

3. Food Network. And of course we have the Food Network site! I love this place, because there are so many different chefs who contribute! Find your favorites and look at their recipes! All of them have different styles, so you are definitely able to find anything you are in the mood for!

Stephanie | Lynchburg Historic Mansion Bridal Session

I am so excited to share this session with you today! If you have have been following my new journey about film, then you know that this is an exciting post! I wanted another opportunity to shoot some more film (but I don’t want to practice on a paying client!), so Stephanie was gracious enough to let me shoot her! She drove all the way down from NoVA a couple of weeks ago! Thanks girl for making that huge effort!

Let me just tell you. I am loving film! I still have a ton to learn, but I am really enjoying this new experience! Film is so different than shooting digital, but I LOVE it! It forces you to slow down and think about EVERY shot that you are shooting! Since it costs for every single shot that take, you have to make sure that you are getting exactly what you want!

While I am still not where I want to be yet, I want to keep practicing and shooting with it, until I get there! I already have a few planned opportunities where I will be able to shoot more!

Here are a few of my scans from my session with Stephanie! We went to my favorite Lynchburg location and I even made a cake and bouquet for us! If you read my post about my goals for the year, than you know that crafts are NOT my thing at all! I was pretty proud of my efforts! Can this session count as on of my crafts for the year? :)