Thursday, January 29, 2015

YouTube Will Take Over the World - Virtually, That Is!

If you don’t know what YouTube is, then chances are you live under a nice big spacious ROCK.  I used to visit YouTube solely for my fix of cute kitten videos or looking up a music video from my childhood when the tune got stuck in my head (commonly an old Britney or other teenybopper one-hit-wonder). These days though, YouTube is much more than that and I believe it will take over the world someday.

Have you spent time on YouTube lately? And by spend time, I mean actually spend time – not just looking at a cute baby laughing at the sound of paper ripping. These days, people are using YouTube as a way to launch themselves as a brand, produce content that real TV would never approve of, and do their own thing to make it big in the reality fame club. Reality TV is the exact opposite of that (meaning, not real at all) so people are sticking to YouTube, where they can produce whatever they want, post it, and gain attention. They can produce short scripted videos, documentary style snippits , or vlogs (video blogs/diaries) of their lives – some do it on the daily – and not have to worry about the production company cutting stuff out prior to air. It’s a freedom we didn’t always have but now that it’s here, it’s not going anywhere!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Beautifully Snowy Saturday

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Oh. Snap. Sorry, got confused for a second there. When I woke up to a winter wonderland, I just immediately assumed Christmas was around the corner. But no, it is not, it's just our first blizzard-y week this winter and it's nearly February. We've gotten a few snow days this winter but not enough, in my opinion.

Sure, waking up to snow on a work day sucks royally (who wants to clean their car off at 7am after working so hard to get into a dress/petticoat/tights combo?) but when it's a Saturday, the Living in a Snowglobe look just puts me in a happy mood.

I love winter because of days like the one we had this weekend. What did we care that 6 inches of snow had fallen while we slept? It was Saturday! Jazzercise class had been cancelled (not even kidding - I love Jazzercise!), we were absolutely OK with sleeping in after attending a birthday party the night before, and we didn't have any plans for the day.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SaraLily Photography: The Best of 2014

Although it's been 2015 for about three weeks now, I wanted to share some of my favorite captured moments from 2014. As some of you know, I own and run SaraLily Photography. I specialize in portraits - a big focus on couples, children, and families. I started SaraLily Photography in 2006 and have been keeping myself busy on the weekends by booking a couple weddings a year with some sessions sprinkled in-between.

2014 was a great year! I got to meet some wonderful new people, reunite with clients I've worked with in the past, spend time with old friends and their growing families, and hang out with my recently engaged cousin at her Alma Mater with their lovable pup.

I had a lot of fun this year behind my camera and can see so much growth in what I captured this year. That's the amazing thing about being a photographer - there is ALWAYS room to grow and expand. I love that with every session, I take away something new, realize something I need to work on, and then some. Grow, grow, grow! That really is the way of life in the photography world.

I am looking forward to an equally successful and lovely experience in 2015. Though my new role at my day job involves a lot more travel, I hope to still find the time to book some weddings and portrait sessions so I can keep learning while capturing moments.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Strawberry Cake Truffles for Valentine's Day

Remember that large cupcake I made last week for Cody and Red's birthday? Well, a cupcake of that size calls for two cake mixes. After you fill the pan, you are left with some extra batter. I looked at it for a little, debating what to do, and an idea struck me. Instead of just making a couple extra normal size cupcakes, what if I baked it up in a pan (I used an 8x8), mixed it with some of the leftover frosting, and make cake balls?

And so I did!

Most truffles use cream cheese as its binder (think Oreo balls) so I wasn't sure if the frosting would hold up, but it surprisingly did! I liked the frosting and cake combo - it's like having a mini bite sized piece of cake!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've never been into the classic peanut butter cookie. You know, the ones you flatten before baking by applying that criss-cross pattern on top with a fork? Those chewy bastards are great if you love peanut butter but they're too much for me. I'd eat one or two and feel pretty peanut butter naseaus.

I don't always want peanut butter in my treats - Reese's are OK but not my favorite, and when I want ice cream, I want something fudgy or caramel-y. Essentially, I am much more of a true chocolate enthusiast.

Sometimes, though, peanut butter is nice. For those times, I like to take my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and amp it up by substituting some of the butter with peanut butter. You're left with what looks like your standard chocolate chip cookie in all their chewy puffy glory only with a kick of peanut butter. Just the way I like it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lots of Love for Lindy Bop

I've started to really - really - love Lindy Bop.

No, duh, right?

Just hear me out. My first purchase from Lindy Bop was back in July of 2014. I bought (what I hope is) my first of many Ophelia dresses. I debated between so many versions (because, in case you do not know, Lindy Bop releases multiple pattern/color options for almost all their dress styles - making to so hard to pick one!) but decided on the popular teal version that I had been drooling over whenever I saw another sassy sister wearing it on Instagram.

I was so happy with my Ophelia dress. The material is super stretchy (hooray for stretch!) and I can tell it's good quality fabric. Ir's thicker than most of my dresses, which I like to see. Because of how incredible the Ophelia dress was, I didn't hesitate to order another around the holidays. It was a different style from Ophelia (a lovely frock called the Hetty) but it had just the same high quality. It was obvious to me then that the high quality material was not just an Ophelia thing, it is a Lindy Bop thing - and an awesome thing at that!

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Super Sized Birthday Cupcake

Have you ever seen these? They're large cupcakes - essentially a cake shaped to resemble a cupcake. I had never heard of it until last year when Red gave me the Milton Giant Cupcake pan for Christmas. Silly me never took the thing out for a test run until now, a year later. I couldn't imagine a better occasion to use it for than Red's birthday! And that is just what I did last weekend.

Since Cody and Red's birthdays are close (Cody is a Christmas baby and Red was born on December 30th), they decided to throw a joint birthday party after the holiday hullabaloo was over. We invited all our friends over last Saturday for some tasty finger foods, fun and fruity (and maybe lethal) punch, and, of course, a massive cupcake.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What's Sara Reading? January Edition

We're back with another swanky edition of What's Sara Reading? I skipped December simply because with all the holiday hoopla I was reading a lot less. So I just figured I'd write up one of these for early January once I had some good reads to post.

December is a funny month. I's my favorite month, but it's a doozy. For the past few years, it's been quite the twilight zone month. It's like because of the holidays, your world MUST get turned upside down. I remember last year being so busy that I barely made it to the yoga studio once that month. This year, I was like "NOPE! Not again! I will NOT break my workout routine this time!"


I had a work trip the week after Thanksgiving and upon my return was sicker than I have been in years. So sick that I didn't go to the gym or yoga for 2 weeks straight on top of already missing that week due to travel (and it SUCKED let me tell you. Yoga is one of those things where if you slack off and leave gaps between your practices, it is SO HARD to get back into). It wasn't fun.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello There, 2015!

I feel a bit hypocritical writing this post as I usually NEVER write New Year's Resolutions. I still won't really for this year but wanted to share what I wore on New Year's Day and figured the best thing to include with it were resolutions. I'd say the resolutions listed below are more goals for my year than resolutions. But aren't those sort of the same thing in the end? Hmm...

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Little Birthday/Holiday Getaway in Woodstock, NH!

One thing Cody and I have started to love to do together is take little getaway trips. We haven't gone on too many yet, but I sense a tradition forming. Cody's birthday is Christmas (not only does he share his birthday with Jesus, but he also shares it with my grandmother and she LOVES that) so last year to make it a bit more about him, we planned a trip to Vermont. We went after the holidays and stayed two nights so that we could see all the touristy spots like Ben & Jerry's and the Teddy Bear Factory.

This year, I decided to once again plan a getaway. This time, we went to New Hampshire. We're both pretty familiar with NH - I grew up going there every summer and Cody's grandparents own a house on Lake Winnipesaukee. Still, we ventured into a new part of the state for this year's trip!