Here at VOF, we are ready for spring. It’s been pretty balmy in our neck(s) of the woods lately (sorry, Northerners), so we thought we’d put together some floral inspiration to match our cheerful moods. Enjoy!
Hello Friday! It’s been a crazy week. And now it’s Valentine’s Day which means forgoing all diets and people can’t judge you for being overly mushy.The beau and I are planning a romantic dinner at McDonald’s followed up by an all-night House of Cards marathon. (Totally kidding about the McDonald’s).
Last week kicked off Fashion Month which means I’ve been glued to my Instagram feed 24/7. The Olympics also kicked off last week, which would mean I’d be glued to the TV if I had it, so instead I’m obsessively refreshing the medal count. So many things to obsess over, so little time! Don’t worry though, with all that time on the interweb, I tracked down some pretty kick ass links for this week’s Friday Report.
What better way to keep up with my obsessions (and wedding planning) than this ingenious bullet journal?
You’re about to lose hours of your time on this baby name website. Is your name a wizards hat? Find out what that means (and a million more awesome facts about names) on Wait But Why.
This past week I got a little obsessive over city engagement sessions while doing some research for a friend. Obviously C & I love our outdoor, natural settings (as you can see in our e-sessions here and here), but part of me secretly wants to go for round two in an urban setting. Cityscapes lend themselves to more formal attire, more candid photos, and sometimes even a air of romance. Check out the collection below for some tips on making the most of a urban e-session! Click through the photos for links to even more inspiration and details on these talented photographers.
Date night or e-photos? Who cares when you capture a moment this adorable.
Use the backdrop as an excuse to dress to the nines.
Still feeling a need for some greenery? Take a picnic blanket to a local park.
Do you really need an excuse to order a milkshake?
A no-fail photo op? Find a stunning backdrop, grab your S.O. and plant one on them.
This photo is so simple, no props, no formal wear, but I love it. It truly looks like a scene from what could be their everyday lives.
Skyscrapers not necessary, storefronts with character may be all you need!
Before you run off in search of the perfect field or barn, consider what your own city or neighborhood has to offer. It might surprise you! If you’re having trouble thinking of creative backdrops, consult your photographer. They may have a go-to location that consistently produces stunning results, or perhaps they have a place in mind they’ve been dying to do an e-session. You won’t know unless you ask!
Soup is one of my favorite things to make. It’s easy, I can leave it the crock-pot and come home to a fresh meal after work, and most of all, it’s delicious! On Sunday, S and I through a Soup-er Bowl party. I got this idea from some friends, the Walsh family, back in Salt Lake City over the Christmas Holiday. Granted, they had about 8 different soups at their party, our party for 12, did not call for as much variety. If you are ever seeking great recipes, I seriously recommend this family’s blog, The Walsh Cookbook. I got two of my soup recipes for here: Crab and Brie Soup and Bacon & Jalapeño Corn Chowder from this lovely family blog. I promise you won’t regret checking out these recipes. S also made an awesome chili with a middle-eastern flare. Here is the recipe for that:
What you’ll need:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
6 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced into small pieces
1 can black beans
1 can red beans
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 medium white onions, diced
10 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, for garnish
chopped green onions, for garnish
sour cream, for garnish
Sauté bacon in a sauté pan. Once cooked, drain all but 2 Tablespoons of the grease. Add brown sugar and raisins and let caramelize. On the side, in a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Season the beef shoulder all over with salt and pepper, add it to the pot and brown it. As it’s browning stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano and cinnamon. Add bacon and raisin mixture. Lower the temperature under the meat to “toast” the spices. In a food processor puree the onions, garlic, and tomato paste and add it to the pot. Increase the heat to medium to steam vegetables a little. Drain and add beans. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch, about 1 quart, and add tomatoes with their liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is fork-tender and comes apart with no resistance, about 2 hours. As it cooks down, add more water, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish each serving with the shredded Cheddar, green onions, and sour cream.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday! S and I are hosting a SOUP-er bowl party. I will be sharing some awesome soup recipes on Tuesday, so definitely stop by again to see those. For now, here are some of our favorite sale items of the week. Enjoy!