my apologies...

for completely abandoning this blog over the summer :( there's been a lot going on around here, and when free time was available, my laziness prevailed. totally lame. things are still going to be pretty hectic for the next few months, but i'm hoping to shake this funk and return with some blog posts. and more photos too! i've been really bad about taking photos over the summer, but i will get some good ones now that fall is here! my favorite season :)

sooo, in the meantime, i'll leave you with the abc's of me. this list has made it all around the blog world (i've recently seen it on srslyliz, hellovanny and erbanstudio) and i thought i'd join in on the fun....why not right?

age: 27
bed size: full
chore you hate: cleaning the bathroom :/
dogs: none currently :( but hoping to have an italian greyhound someday
essential start to your day: a hot shower & caffeine
favorite color: blue
gold or silver: silver for sure! i can't stand gold, unless it's white gold (which it closer to silver anyway)
height:  5 ft... i'm a shorty
instruments you play: used to play the clarinet and piano back in grade school
job title: digital media designer
kids: someday, not for a long time though, lol
live: suburb of chicago, il
mother's name: connie (it's really consuelo, but she goes by connie)
nicknames: steph, skelly
overnight hospital stays: none
pet peeves: sending an IM and not responding for a long time, haha (my sister does that ALL the time), not returning calls or emails, being late
quote from a movie: "we're going to need a bigger boat." - JAWS
right or left handed: righty
siblings: younger sister sarah
time to wake up: during the week my alarm goes off at 6:40am, but i don't get out of bed til about 7:15am
underwear: great stuff ;)
vegetable you hate: tomato (it may be a fruit, but i group it with veggies)
what makes you run late: snoozing, browsing the internets
x-rays you've had: just dental
yummy food that you make: i don't really cook, but i like making my mom's "crispy chicken"
zoo animal: bears

another skin post

***i kind of hesitated on writing this post, b/c who really cares about my current skin predicament besides me (haha), BUT i figured a few of you might have some suggestions :) ***

for most of my life, i've been lucky enough to have pretty clear skin. in my teenage years i would break out a bit, but it was nothing too crazy...usually only a few blemishes at a time, and never really in clusters. as i'm getting into my late 20s, my skin has started to freak out a bit. ok, to start, i don't have a good diet at all. and i know that's one of the most important things for clear skin. that and exercise, which i'm also terrible at, but i'm trying to get better about that!

i started using the oil cleansing method a while back, which i've blogged about here, and that was working alright. and then i discovered lush products. i had heard such great things about their skincare line, so i went in and walked out with a few great samples. i liked everything, so when i got a few giftcards for my birthday, i stocked up on some full sized goodies: grease lighting spot treatment, cosmetic warrior mask, tea tree toner, herbalism cleanser, ultra bland cleanser, and enzymion facial moisturizer. sooo pretty much a whole new skin care routine. and i was excited! until i started to break out...bad. i know when switching to a new skincare regimen, it takes weeks for your skin to adjust, and often it gets worse before it gets better. but it's been about a month and it's still pretty bad :( i had big (painful) blemishes in big clusters, and even if i left them alone, they still left scars.

so sadly, i  recently cut out most of the lush products out of my skincare routine. i'm still having new breakouts in the same areas, which is frustrating, but they are a bit smaller. and the scarring is still all over.

i'm not sure if i'm just not giving my skin enough time to adjust to the lush products, or if they truly don't work for me. ugh, sadness. anyway, i've done some online research, but if anyone has any suggestions, i would love to hear them! i'm really trying to get this under control and not go to a dermatologist...only b/c my work changed our healthcare provider and the copay is twice as much now :/ boo. haha.

hope everyone is having a great start to the week. i'll be back soon with some regular posts, and some new photos :)

~ steph

i'm still here!

it's been a while since my last post, and i've kept quite busy over the last few weeks. i have also been trying to "disconnect" a little bit on the weekends. it's become second nature to check my iphone every now & then, and i almost miss the time when i didn't have a smart phone (not that long ago actually). so i'm trying to resist the urge to check twitter & facebook so frequently, and actually enjoy the company of those around me :)

i had a photo adventure memorial day weekend and finally dug up some of my film cameras. i finished quite a few rolls from forever ago, and thought i would share my favorites:

in flight from las vegas back home to chicago last october.

i almost forgot i still had these photos! snowpocalypse 2011!

and these are recent, roaming around abandoned areas with kristin.

the main reason for the photo adventure was shoot portraits/headshots for a friend. i'm still working and editing those photos, but i'll share them here soon.

my next post will be more structured, but i just wanted to pop in and say hello! oh, totally random, but if you haven't heard of/checked out epic meal time's youtube channel, do it. seriously. it's hilarious. my friends and i actually watched every single video one night. "that's smart!"

til next time,

my {birthday} weekend in photos

so i turned the big 2-7 last friday and had a positively fabulous birthday weekend! my parents came into town on friday after i got off of work, and we met my sister sarah, her bf bradley, my friends dana & kristin, and chester in arlington heights for some fabulous sushi. it was yummy! after dinner we met a few more friends at finn mccools for a few drinks :) buuuuut i didn't get photos of that, whoops.

on saturday we got all dressed up and headed downtown for a par-tay! we hung out at sarah's for a drink before heading over to vertigo sky lounge. i had never been there before, it was so cool! we had a table near the back of the lounge with an incredible view of downtown. the weather was gorgeous, and we were able to hang outside on the rooftop for a while, which was pretty awesome. it was such a blast, and i was happy that everyone had a great time. 

thank you to my incredible family and my wonderful friends for making my 27th birthday better than i could have imagined! and a BIG thank you to chester for making everything possible! he was so great about planning everything for saturday, and i couldn't be more greatful! thanks so much hunnie! :D x 100, haha.

~ steph

some randoms

so i was hoping to get (more) photos from this weekend, and do a cool "my weekend in photos" post, but i totally failed at that this time, haha. but it was an amazing weekend, so i attribute my lack of photos to just enjoying the moments, and not frantically trying to capture each one. i am sharing what i did manage to capture though :)
i completely love the view from my bedroom window in my apartment right now. i'm lucky enough to get some beautiful sunlight and i have a gorgeous tree right outside the window.

my friend kyle of i shoot rockstars! started a visitors project, and he took a photo of everyone who came into his studio over the course of a year. he ended up publishing a book with all of the portraits, and had a launch party this past friday. pretty cool!

sooo, not pictured from the weekend: my first attempt at making homemade cake pops (they were yummy!), sarah's super fun housewarming party downtown, and a perfect sunday of lounging, movie watching and shopping :D

oh, and in the process of making cake pops, i watched "my best friend's wedding" on netflix :) i love that movie! and i had this song stuck in my head for the longest time, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing ;)

summer lovin' had me a blast

it's back to slightly chilly spring weather around here, but earlier this week we received our first taste of summer with some 80+ degree days. i'm pretty darn excited for this summer, and i wanted to share some of my favorite summer photography. enjoy!

more sumertime photos can be found on my flickr under these two sets: cherry valley days and lucifer's pond

hope you're all having a great weekend so far!


my week (and weekend) in photos

some cinco de mayo fun // a new tshirt courtesy of dressing on the side // friday was absolutely gorgeous 

mother's day cubs game! too bad they didn't win :(

not pictured: the rest of a great weekend with friends and family :)

in other news, the lovely jen of just jen awarded me with the versatile blogger award :) how cool! thanks so much jen!

so, going along with the rules, here are 7 things about me. i tried to pick some things that i haven't already shared on here:
  1. i typically hit the snooze button about 3 times each weekday morning before getting out of bed.
  2. i got rid of the blue streaks in my hair about a month ago. i rocked the blue for about 3 years, but needed a change, and a chance to save some money ;) seriously, those bright colors are high maintenance and expensive.
  3. i turn 27 in 11 days! wow, that feels like i'm officially OFFICIALLY an adult :/ 
  4. for those of you who don't know me irl, i'm really short (like a teeny bit above 5 feet), haha. which should be pretty obvious on here in any photo when i'm standing next to someone.
  5. i really want to visit italy and paris, especially after hearing stories from my sister's trips to those places. lucky girl.
  6. if you give me new music to check out, it will take me a really long time to listen to the whole cd. but not as long as it takes for me to watch a movie you let me borrow. seriously, i've sat on movies for years at a time. crazy!
  7. i have a really hard time narrowing down which cameras to bring on a vacation. the top of my list: my diana mini, my supersampler, my nice (bulky) digital camera, and my tiny canon camera. but i also like to throw in my holga and my instant camera if i have room :/
the 3rd rule is to award 15 recently discovered bloggers...whoa! that's a lot, haha. soooo i'm choosing these 3 lovely ladies: ana of erban: a random blog, sarah of a lost feather, and cheryl of stuff you'll love. you ladies are all pretty damn awesome and inspiring :) posting 7 things and awarding new bloggers is totally your call, i just wanted to give a well deserved shout-out.

~ steph

craft swap

when i saw that becky of strumpet's crumpets was hosting another craft swap with her friend amber of hoot-n-annie, i eagerly emailed becky and said i wanted to sign up. i was pleasantly surprised to find out a few days later that she was going to be my swap partner! i've followed her blog for a while now, and i really love her creations :) 

it took me a while to think of the craft i wanted to make for her, and i decided to revive an old "Opposite Day" Shop classic with a new twist. i made a smaller log pillow (about 13 inches long, opposed to the original 16-17 inches), which ends up being a perfect size for a neck pillow, and travels much better than my previous logs. becky told me her favorite color is orange, so i picked some fabrics with splashes of orange and added hearts to her pillow. i also sewed orange felt hearts to each end. 

it was a lot of fun to create, and i've decided to make a few for my shop! i'll be sure to update here when they are stocked. 

i was so excited to open my package from becky! along with some sweet goodies (that included a few iphone notepads and a "dexter" notepad, how cool!) she made me the most incredible embroidery piece with my intials! along with using my favorite color, she even used my blog font for the awesome! she definitely did a great job of personalizing her craft for me. i absolutely LOVE it! i'm currently trying to pick the perfect place to hang it in my room :) thank you so much becky!!! you're fantastic!

to see more from the craft swap, be sure to check out the flickr group.

hope you're all having a great week so far. i'm definitely ready for the weekend. but first i'm going to catch up on some orders and giveaway items. busy busy :)

~ steph

"Opposite Day" Shop Giveaway!

hi everyone! the wonderful blair of wild & precious (mentioned in my recent may blog love post) is kicking off this month with an "opposite day" shop giveaway! she did a wonderful write up about the shop and myself :) a $20 gift certificate is up for grabs, so swing by and enter. and good luck!

may blog love

hello everyone! just wanted to pop in with some may blog love :) below are 4 lovely ladies that i'm happy to be sponsoring this month. they all have incredibly fun blogs, be sure to check them out! 

1. liz of srslyliz. 2. vanessa of hellovanny. 3. blair of wild & precious. 4. polly of pixie mama.

i also wanted to mention a few other amazing blogs that i've come across over the last month or so:

*the photos used belong to the blogger represented :) great photographers, right?

if you would come back home...

chester and i saw william fitzsimmons last night in chicago. it was a super small venue, and he sounded even better live than he does on his albums. it's so cool to go to a show like this and have the whole audience be completely quiet and captivated by the performance. below is my favorite song of his, i'm so glad he played it last night! enjoy :)

love this video

so this is what happens when i get new music: immediately load it on my computer at home, put it on my ipod and/or iphone, and there it sits for a while. this is unfortunately what happened with the new fleet foxes' album. whoops! anyway, i'm currently loving this song "grown ocean", and this video is gorgeous.


~ steph

my easter sunday in photos

1. my sister got new running shoes this weekend. she told the salesman she didn't want "plain shoes", she wanted "obnoxious" :) and she got 'em. 2. i gave up popcorn, my favorite snack, for lent. this small bowl tasted like heaven today. 3. we played a few games of bingo with the family. no wins for me though :/  4. ha! my cousin tony skillfully filled his wine glass to the brim! it had me cracking up with it, so i wanted a photo :)

hope you all had a great easter weekend!

~ steph

another fun photoshop tutorial

i stumbled upon another great photoshop tutorial the other day (and i really wish i could remember where i saw it linked!) the author provides a step-by-step guide to giving your photos a "cool retro analog effect". the title immediately got my attention and i gave it a try. below is a photo from a few a weekends ago when i was in chicago, shot with my iphone.

pretty neat, right? i've tried it on a few different photos, and it doesn't really work for everything, but i really like how this shot turned out. 

hope you all have a great weekend!

~ steph

sponsor highlight on

hey everyone! just wanted to let you know that the fabulous vanessa of hellovanny just posted a sponsor highlight post. included are some amazing bloggers and yours truly :) so check it out!

hope you're having a great friday! i'm lucky enough to be off work today, so i'm hoping to catch up on a few blog post ideas and some crafting :)


who killed rosie larsen?

i've mentioned a few times that i watch entirely too much television, and the amount of tv series that i try to keep up with is just ridiculous. (thank goodness a fair amount of them i can watch online, b/c i'm currently without a dvr.) since i'm waiting for a few of my favorites to come back (true blood, boardwalk empire, the walking dead, and the league), i've come across a new obsession: "the killing" on amc. this network has really stepped up their game with their original series. and this new show is so good! it all starts when a teenage girl, rosie larsen, goes missing and is later found dead. i won't butcher the plot here, ha, but you should check it out! it goes way beyond the basic "who done it?" storyline, and the characters are so well done. the first 4 episodes are available to watch online at amc's website.

do it! seriously.

30 photos

i've seen the 30 photo post pop up on quite a few blogs, most recently on srslyliz and blue pea. since i'm kind of a photo nut, i wanted to get in on the fun. it was really hard to choose just one photo for a few of these, so i added some more in a couple spots. here it goes:

1. someone i spend a lot of time with - my friends dana, ryan, and kristin. and chester of course.

2. a picture of myself - taken by kyle lamere of i shoot rockstars!

3. a picture of someone in the family - my cousin ruben, he lives in texas and this was his first time playing in the snow :)

4. a picture of something that makes you happy - my sister sarah when she's goofing off. she makes me laugh so much it almost hurts.

5. an old picture of myself - hanging at edwards in 2006, and then baby steph.

6. a picture of a sibling - my sister sarah.

7. a class photo - couldn't find one :/

8. a random photo of you and your significant other - pocketbooth fun.

9. a picture i've never posted before - hanging out in peru...long before facebook and twitter, or even a digital camera for that matter ;)

10. a relative of mine - well more than one, a few of my cousins on my mom's side.

11. a person i can tell everything to - my mom :)

12. a picture of my everyday life - my little "office" in my room.

13. a picture from a place i love - las vegas baby!

14. a picture that reminds me of old times - hanging out in college, either at my friend's place or at uno's on thursdays.

15. a picture from a great night - there have been so many recently, but i had a blast at dana, tim, and jackie's combo birthday party.

16. an unusual picture - ha, this is VERY unusual because i usually don't dance, let alone dance on a STAGE! haha, this was at a piano bar a few weeks ago...they played "billie jean" for me.

17. a picture of your spare time - i watch too much tv.

18. a picture of people who are closest to me - mi familia :)

19. a picture of someone who is always there - my parents.

20. a picture of a time in life i miss - the college crew! (well, one of them, lol) i miss seeing these people in class and at my campus job.

21. a picture from last summer - a much needed mini vacation to devil's lake with amanda.

22. a picture that makes me sad - my little dog that past away last summer :( i miss her a lot.

23. a picture that i always laugh about - my goofy sister.

24. a crazy picture - not too crazy, but look at those eyes!

25. latest picture of myself - my dad and i last weekend.

26. a picture of my parents at my age - this is actually my parents five years younger than i am now. i love this photo!

27. a picture of the best day of your life - this was another hard one to choose for. and it might seem weird that i'm posting a photo of my friends' wedding, since it was the best day of their lives, but it was such an amazing day and i was so happy to be a part of it.

28.  a picture of my favorite vacation - there were a lot of favorite vacations, but the one to peru was the most memorable.

29. a picture of an accomplishment - having my photo posted on shutter sisters.

30. a picture i am satisfied with.

even though this post took a while to create, it was a lot of fun. want to join in? leave a link if you do post the 30 photos :)