Category Archives: This is the good life.

This is the Good Life! {Asheville, NC Boudoir Photographer}

I’m sitting in my favorite coffee bar. Drinking my favorite drink. Watching the rain pour outside.

Honestly, I’m nursing a bit of a hang over from the weekend and I’m having to do work on my day off.

This should be a bad day.

I don’t know if it’s the pitter patter of rain drops outside, the cozy feeling among the customers today who are hunkering indoors, the sweet friends I have here, or the music.

Likely, it’s the combination of all of those things. The combination of all of the good things in life.

Here are a few of the things that I’m particularly inspired by this week…

1. My Floral Notebooks by Rifle Inc. 

I’m a pen and paper kind of gal. I realize that a lot of people have taken to the digital world a little more quickly than I have. However, the thought of typing a list on the computer, or pouring out my thoughts by clanking keys, well, it’s just not appealing to me. I keep EVERYTHING in these little books. They came in a pack of three and are just so pretty. Everyday I look down at it on my desk and it makes me smile. I love floral prints, especially against my white desk.

{It also makes a great addition to my instagram photos, so…}

floral journal

 

2. My new Pen Holder!

While we’re talking about my love of floral…

My lovely friend and co-owner of The Goods Asheville helped me layout my office. She recommended that I get a vintage tin can to hold my pens. During our meeting, my lovely bride Allie from this wedding came by! I told her about my need for a vintage can and the next week when she came by to pick up her final package she brought this with her! I’m IN LOVE with it!

floral can

 

3. My Morning Coffee! 

I finally got my coffee set up moved into my new office! It’s allowed me to make my morning cup after I’m already at work. I’ve really enjoyed that peaceful beginning to my work day. Just taking the time to handcraft a great cup of coffee before delving into the depths of work that day!

coffee

 

4. Making the Wedding Album! 

Last weekend I made my way to Raleigh to photograph Luna, the beautiful baby of one of my couples. I so enjoyed that in itself. But, the icing on the cake was perusing their wedding album and finding out I made the cut! I adore you Emily and Sergio!

album

 

5.  Making things from scratch. 

I have tried so many different eating methods in my lifetime. Different restrictions. From low-carb, no carb, vegetarian, weight watchers, 6 meals a day, 3 solid meals a day, etc. But, the only thing that I REALLY believe in is eating real food. My opinion on that is un wavering and I stand behind it. So, I’ve been putting my focus in that place and I’m really happy there. Last week I made spaghetti sauce from scratch. The week before that I made my own barbecue sauce. Above the health benefits of not eating preservative or sugar-filled foods, it’s just plain nice to put some thought and intention behind my food. It’s also a self-esteem boost to make something that you have just bought in a jar your entire life.

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6. My new dry erase boards!

My original plan when designing the office was to have a long magnet board along the length of my desk. But, that presented me with a lack of space for my to-do list. I thought I may just write it on paper to hang on the magnet board. But, while I was perusing Ikea last week I found these guys! I love them because they not only serve as a place to hang papers that need to be dealt with but, they also allow me to write and change my to-do list everyday!

Also, they’re transparent and mirror my new website that you will hopefully get to see very very soon!  

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7. Affogatos!

An affogato is a double shot of espresso over a scoop of ice cream. Yep! The first time I had one of these we were couchsurfing on the coast of Italy. Our host made us one with a stove top espresso maker and I was in love. Needless to say what I had there is very different from the craft specialty level affogato’s I’m getting here. While the flavor is better here, the sentiment carries over from Italy. I love the sweet ability to reminisce over that hot night.

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8. Seeing my words in print! 

I have a gift for down playing when good things happen to me. Especially when I worked hard on something. I’m much more comfortable celebrating someone else’s accomplishes than my own. But, last week two articles that I worked very hard on were published in WNC Woman’s Magazine. They commissioned me for the job last year and I had an amazing time putting together the pieces. Then, last week, I saw them printed for the first time. Now, I’m used to seeing my pictures published and shared. But, my words. To see my words printed. Well, that was different. I couldn’t hide my joy and I certainly over shared. But, there’s something special about that for me.

I’ve had pieces published in the past, but, as I said, I’m not very good at celebrating that sort of thing. For some reason, this time was different. It felt like it meant something, and I’m hoping it’s a bit of foreshadowing into my future.

You can read the articles here and here!

Hip-Hop-1-682x1024with love and the good life,

Sarajane.

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Spring, Alarms, and The End of Office Limbo: This is the Good Life! {Asheville, NC Wedding and Boudoir Photographer}

If you’ve asked me how I’m doing lately it’s likely that I’ve responded with something like, “I’m good, looking forward to moving into my office. A little weary of working from home.” Something along those lines. I’ve felt so out of order working off of our kitchen table with all of my business things packed into the guest room. But, with that in mind I have a lot of things to be happy about and it’s ’bout time I share that instead!

1. My new alarm clock App!

I downloaded Sleep Cycle last night and I’m already in love. It’s designed to track your sleep patterns, report how well you slept, and to wake you up gently at the perfect time in your sleep cycle. This morning it woke me up right as I was waking up naturally. It felt like a gentle reminder to start my day. Instead of my normal alarm clock that wakes me up when I tell it to and is usually about 15 minutes after I’ve already woken up and found a way to fall back asleep just enough where it’s annoying to hear my alarm.

It’s $.99 and totally worth it!

sleep cycle

 

2. Spring.

I’ve been a fan of spring for a while. Let’s be honest, there’s something beautiful about the first warm day of the year! I have had many a Fall fan try to waiver my Spring allegiance. But, I’ll take flowers, 70 degrees, green, and floral prints over crisp breezes, leaves, and pumpkin spice any day of the year!

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3. Savannah, GA.

I’ve been to this little southern gem so many times in the last few years. Some for work and some for fun! I was there this week last year with the beautiful Katie Ringley doing her bridal portraits and I am heading down this weekend for a little break from the ordinary with my dear friend Lindsay Lee! I can’t wait for sitting in parks and eating at Zunzi’s!

savannah

 

4. My new office!

I’ve signed the lease for my new office! It’s downtown still just a little more private and in a more inviting building! I’ll be sharing before and after pictures as soon as I can! I’m painting tonight and moving in on Tuesday! Hooray for the near end of office limbo!!

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with love and the good life,

Sarajane.

 

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Juicing, Bouchon, Coffee, and Books: This is the Good Life Christmas Edition! {Asheville, NC Boudoir and Wedding Photographer}

I am probably the biggest geek about getting presents. I LOVE presents. It’s like I turn into a kid again. Sometimes Kyle will just bring me a Dr. Pepper home from work and I freak out. I know it’s silly, but, something about presents just makes me feel so loved. So, Christmas was super exciting for me as always! Here are a few of my favorite things!!

My beautiful mother tricked me the other night and prodded about this restaurant that she’d heard of in town. I just went on and on about how much I like it and even went into detail about how much it costs to eat there for two people. How she knew I’d ramble like a mad person, I don’t know. ; ) But, she was so sweet to gift Kyle and I a gift certificate to Bouchon for a fun night out!

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I had a secret santa this year through a photographers group that I’m involved in! It was one of my favorite days when I received this book and a new espresso tamp in the mail!!

christa

Kyle knows me well! He got me two things that I’ve been wanting for a LONG time!! He also got me a book that he thought I would enjoy but may not pick up for myself!

He got me a chemex coffee maker, a digital scale for coffee, and Love in the Time of Cholera!

christmas

Finally, Kyle’s parents got me a juicer! I have been wanting one for YEARS!! I’m so excited! I went ahead and made two things of juice for the week last night. I made OJ and then celery, spinach, carrot, and apple juice! If you have any juice recipes that you love, send them my way!

juice

 

with love and the good life,

Sarajane.

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Coffee, Pubs, Vacations, and Polaroids: This is the Good Life! {Asheville, NC Wedding and Boudoir Photographer}

These posts are my chance to sit down and look at all of the things that are going right in my life. Which, these days-fortunately- that’s a lot. Things are pretty darn good. I can’t complain about much and so I want to always make sure I’m putting gratitude out into the universe. So, these are the things that are making my days a little perkier right now.

1. Counter Culture Weekly Cuppings.

Cuppings are coffee’s equivalent to wine tastings. Every week Counter Culture training centers all over have a cupping at 10am on Friday mornings. Our local training center is one of those gems. I’ve been going for the last few weeks. It’s been a nice break in my normal life. Sometimes it feels like all I do is work and/or spend time with friends. But, I want to make sure I’m making time for the other interests in my life. Taking time to be ‘creative’ in other outlets is so necessary. It’s what keeps me rested and inspired to do my work. Which brings me to the next thing on the list….

2. NanoWrimo

November is national novel writing month! Our entire house is participating. Basically, you write a little over 1600 words a day and by the end of the month you’ve written a 50,000 word novel. I’m particularly excited about this because of what I talked about above. It’s a nice break from my routine. It will force me to take time out to pursue other creative interests of mine. Writing being one of  the biggest.

3. MG Road

This is a new bar in town. It opened up on Wall St. a few weeks ago. It’s so relaxed and laid back, while at the same time classy. It’s set up more for conversation than partying. I’ve become a quick regular, always suggesting it when I go out with friends and even once making a trip there myself just to read and write over an old fashioned. It has the feel of a coffee shop which of course, I love.

4. Catching Movies Alone.

I’ve talked a lot before about my ‘self-date days.’ I make a point to spend quality time alone once a week. I usually treat myself to dinner, a movie, sometimes even a massage. Whatever it is I feel like doing that day. The movies has been my favorite piece of this for the most part. I love not having to discuss what movie to go see. I don’t have to worry if someone else doesn’t want to watch it. It also allows me to watch all the cheesy flicks I wouldn’t otherwise admit to enjoying ; )

5. My new bathing suit! 

Kyle and I are going to Panama in 3 DAYS! It’s hard to believe it’s so soon. For the first half of the trip we’ll be staying in Panama City where we can do more adventures and exploring from there. Then for the second half we’re switching over to a resort to just sit by the beach and drink. : ) I ordered this bathing suit off of modcloth and I’m so excited about it. I couldn’t imagine a better thing to wear while sipping a mojito under the central american sun!

with love and the good life,

Sarajane.

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The Green Bean, WPPI-U, Planning Meetings, and Dating Yourself: This is the Good Life. {Asheville, NC Wedding and Boudoir Photographer}

I’ve had a great month. I’ve gotten into the swing of things this busy season and been able to enjoy my friends and family in the process. I’ve worked hard on creating better systems for myself professionally and personally. While focusing on having a full life and making sure to balance the serious with the silly. There are a few things that have stood out as little gems of joy!

1. My new coffee mug! 

This coffee mug is perfect for me! It’s tiny! I LOVE coffee but I like to drink just a little bit at a time. I also drink V-E-R-Y-S-L-O-W-L-Y, so it allows me to finish before it gets cold. On top of that, it’s from a coffee shop in Greensboro called The Green Bean. It represents the joy that I have in knowing where to get coffee in all the cities that I travel to regularly. I LOVE being a regular at places. Especially when it’s in a city that I don’t live in. Last week I was in Atlanta for a conference and visited Octane. I walked in the door and the barista greeted me by name. {That may be a problem.} But, it’s a good feeling to have familiarity when traveling. That’s what this mug represents!

 

2. WPPI-U

I mentioned above that I was in Atlanta last week for a conference. The conference was WPPI-U. It’s a smaller version of the GIANT WPPI that I attended in Vegas earlier this year.  I attended WPPI-U in Atlanta last year as well and met some wonderful people. This year I went knowing people and was super pumped to spend time with them! On top of that, it was a rejuvenation in spirit for me. I feel energized to tackle business-y things and to improve every aspect of what I do. I learned what I’m doing well and what I could focus more energy on. I learned to focus on one thing at a time. I also learned how important it is to have help when doing things by yourself!  You’ll probably hear more about that sometime soon.

 

 

3. Planning Meetings

I’m just a nerd. It comes down to that. I love organization, systems, and planning! Last week after family lunch, my roommates and I sat down and wrote out ideas and thoughts about the 20 somethings blog. Every year at the end of the year I look at my business and write out what worked, what didn’t, and what’s next. So, we decided that we should do that for the 20 somethings once a month. As we sat there planning out details over ice cream from the hop, I felt myself getting more and more energized! It’s exciting to have a plan!

 

4. Dating Yourself.

I know that sounds like a way to make being single sound romantic and indie. But, I’m not single, I’m super married, and I am just now realizing how important this is. I realized recently that I’m NEVER alone! I am incredibly blessed to have wonderful friends and family. To the point that I forget to spend time with just myself quite often. I think there’s a beauty in doing things by yourself. Making decisions independent of anyone else’s feelings, allowing yourself to do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it, and it just forces you to see yourself for who you are. So, I committed to spending at least one evening alone with myself every week. Last night was that evening this week. I spent some time reading and writing at the Dripolator, I had dinner at Homegrown, and I watched “Your Sister’s Sister” while enjoying a nice cold Gateway Kolsch from French Broad Brewing at The Carolina. Not a bad evening, not at all!

 

 

5. HP Sauce

When we were in England I ate this stuff on EVERYTHING! It’s everywhere there and impossible to find here. But, last week as we were raiding the aisles at World Market, there it was! I threw one into my basket as fast as physically possible and put it on the first thing I ate afterwards. I can’t get enough of this stuff. So excited to have a place to buy  it here!

with love and the good life,

Sarajane.

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Coffee, Food, Drink: Asheville Love! {This is the Good Life!}

We have some pretty great couch surfers staying with us this week. Check ’em out they’re musicians! Because they’re in town we’re talking a lot of this sweet home town of ours. It made me realize that it’s about time I write another installment of Asheville Love! So, here are the coffee spot, food place, and watering hole that I’m feeling this week!

Coffee:

Waking Life

I love this spot because it’s seriously a spot for serious coffee nerds. There are barely any flavored coffees, it’s all about the taste of the bean. On top of that the owner will totally nerd out with you if you want to talk about the coffee for an hour and a half. The downside of this, it’s not a place for those who aren’t into learning all about the bean. It can actually be quite annoying for those. But, I’m not one of ’em so I’m all about it. There are a couple of baristas there with awesome personalities, there are also a couple that just aren’t friendly. But, they’re good at their job and aren’t rude by any means. The coffee is phenomenal. They are serious about educating their customers on why they are buying what they’re buying. {which I love.} They treat their employees well and source fairly!

The atmosphere isn’t too shabby either. It’s an old house converted into a coffee shop, but, it’s nice, clean and modern. They have amazing internet, the fastest in town. Also, lots of parking.

So, make sure to check ’em out next time you’re in West Asheville!

Food:

Bouchon

Guys, this place is seriously legit. Bouchon is this amazing french bistro on Lexington Ave. The atmosphere and the food are both like a teleportation machine right to France. The first time I walked in there I was blown away by how much it felt like places we visited in Paris. Then, I ate the food. Chef Michel Baudouin is a master! I recommend the escargot as an appetizer and the Ravioli de Homard Nantua {lobster ravioli} for your meal! There is often a pretty big wait and they don’t take reservations. However, there’s a nice bar to sit at while you wait. They’ve also recently increased their seating room by opening up the wine cellar for dinner guests. This has supposedly cut down on the wait time significantly. But, either way, it’s worth the wait. A great place for a nice night out. Entrees average about $20/person. Not as much as you would think if you tasted the food first.

Drink:

The Southern

This has easily become my favorite place to grab a drink. With their relaxed patio and classic indoor seating you will feel comfortable anywhere you choose to enjoy your happy hour! I love them for their drink specials! Check it:

monday: $5 margaritas-$1 off bottled beers {the margaritas are pint glassed sized, not those tiny ones you usually get.}
tuesday: $3 well liquor and draft beers
wednesday: $5 irish whiskey
thursday: $2 PBR
friday: $5 all stoli flavors
saturday: $5 makers mark
sunday: Bloody Mary Bar, $6 mimosas, and 1/2 priced bottles of wine.

Did I also mention that they have amazing food! Truffle mac and cheese, meat and cheese plates, and sunday brunch! The Southern is also home to some of our favorite specialty cocktails:  We love the Southern Special Tea {sweet tea vodka, southern comfort, and lemon juice} and the Lavender Martini {gin, lavender simple syrup and lemon juice.}

It’s a great place to start or end your night, or just grab a quick drink after work. With the relaxed environment and quality for the price, you can’t go wrong!

with love-for asheville,

Sarajane.

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The Everyday Romance {Asheville, NC Wedding Photographer}

I think it’s impossible to bottle romance. What is beautiful and lovely to one person/couple may be just gross and weird to the next. What is adventurous and exciting for one person/couple may be inconvenient and exhausting for another. But, with this in mind I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that some of the most romantic moments can be the small ones. The moment when you’re cooking dinner and your partner stands behind you and whispers ‘thank you’ into your ear. The way they look in the morning. Or the way they look at you when you first wake up. What about the moment that you say “I love you” at the same time because you were both overcome with gratitude for the other at the exact same moment.

Or what about the point in an argument where you both realize you don’t even care if you win or not, and you both start laughing at how silly you sound. What about the way it feels when they reach over and grab your hand while you’re driving. These are the moments worth savoring. The tiny pieces of love that can’t be bottled, they can’t be replicated, and they can often go unnoticed.

Take a moment today to breath it all in. Commit this beauty to memory and I promise you’ll be better for it.

{Photo Below published in National Geographic in the 1972}

with love and romance,

Sarajane.

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