Ice Cream Month Session

It is July which means it is National Ice Cream Month! And to celebrate, I collaborated with The Chocolate Moose and some amazing Bloomington High School North students! What is your favorite flavor?

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Top 5 things to do in Bloomington this summer

Bloomington has so much to offer, especially in the summer. It may not seem like there is a lot happening with all the students gone, but it’s still a lively community. I wanted to share the top 5 of my favorite things to do in Bloomington during the summer.

Farmer’s Market

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Going to the Farmer’s Market is one of my favorite things to do. It combines me being in the sun and warmth with my love of food and support for local businesses. Plus, so many things to photograph! There is an eclectic array of people and food items. Not only can you get your produce and sometimes meat there, but you can also get flowers, and even shop some local bakeries and coffee shops. 

Lake Monroe

Not only is this something that I think you should do on the water, but also the area surrounding Lake Monroe is perfect to explore. Go hiking on a trail or even set up a tent and camp. Maybe rent a boat or a kayak and explore the water. You could even go fishing.

Bike around town

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Now with Pace bikes scattered around town, it is so easy to be able to use a bike just to get around and explore. Go on the B-Line and see what you haven’t explored yet.

Do a photo tour

This just simply means find some awesome backdrops throughout Bloomington. It’s crazy the little nooks and crannies you can find in and right out of town. Maybe you could even document it and write a blog post.

Have a picnic at Oliver Winery

I may be a little biased towards Oliver Winery because I have done some sessions there, but honestly a park or any place with some grass would be a great location for a picnic (find some shade under a tree though so you don’t melt). Get a few of your favorite bites together (you could even pick something up at a local store like Bloomingfoods) and head out for a nice day in the park.

Bloomington just has so much more to offer that I could go into. I chose these five because they have all of my favorite things combined into them. You can get creative or even check out visitbloomington.com for more ideas.

My sisters and the things I love about them

About 23 years ago, two little rascals entered my world, destroying my hopes as an only child. I was the center of attention until they, Savannah & Paige, came along. Sure, I thought they were cute, but I didn’t fully understand the concept of them coming home with Mom and us having to keep them. That was 23 years ago, and now I love my sisters more than ever.

Paige, Savannah, and I never really got along growing up. We fought like cats and dogs all the time. Still, to this day, I wonder how our parents survived us. We were, as they called us, heathens. If it wasn’t them against me, I would end up picking one of them to come to my side. Constantly bickering, physical altercations, and pranks.

There are a few times in particular that I remember and will share with you today. Like most kids, boxes became the perfect play toy and let the imagination wander. We were no different. Mom and Dad just got a massive piece for our television and it came in a just as massive box. It was AWESOME. I used that as my hair salon for the twins. If you can guess what happened next, I was in danger and grounded for a long time.

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Later down the road, my sisters had a friend over. I am not sure what lead to this, but all of a sudden I was challenged. “I bet you can’t fit in this tub!” someone yelled at me about the plastic storage bin. I was stupid enough to say, “I can too!” and climbed right in. As soon as I laid all the way down, the lid snaps on. They continue to carry me in this bin when I hear, “Let’s throw her down the stairs,” so I screamed bloody murder. Luckily, no one was harmed.

These are special memories in my heart that I hold dear. Mainly because I love telling their current friends. But, I love them because it shows where we came from. Now I want to share all the reasons why I love them so dearly today.

Reason 1:

They are my go-tos when it comes to anything fashion related. I had a terrible sense of style and still just like my plain basic staples. One of my favorite things is when they go through their closets wanting to get rid of things. It’s almost like my birthday all over again, but with the things I don’t really have to worry about is in style or not.

Reason 2:

I have some of the best friends. I can call when I need someone to talk to. I always have an ear to listen to me. I am always one to them.

Reason 3:

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They will always be honest with me. I know that friends are supposed to be honest, but sisters are ones who won’t be afraid to tell you how it is. Especially mine. They aren’t afraid to hurt my feelings or tell me if I am being mean or in the wrong.

Reason 4:

I have two future party planners. Whenever the day comes that I will be wed, my sisters are going to be right by my side and helping me plan the whole thing. Like I mentioned earlier, they are very honest. But they also see things from all points of view. Which is going to be super helpful when I get “shiny object syndrome.”

Reason 5:

They are my sisters. It’s crazy how when we go out, people mistake us for triplets or even that I am twins with one of them. When we are having conversations, it’s like we almost don’t have to say every single word or sentence and we understand each other. We vibe off each other very well. We are all protective of one another. I can’t help but be so proud to be one of their sisters.

Even though they may have stolen my spotlight, I am so happy I get to call these girls MY sisters. They are everything I could have asked for in a sister and they always amaze me every day with their determination and strong will. These ladies are going places. Savannah & Paige, I love you both and thank you for being the best sisters I could ask for.

A personal story: my health

At the beginning of 2018 I started on a journey with my health. At this point, I was considered overweight in the BMI scale, my clothes were a little more than snug, and I was tired all the time. I hated how I looked in the mirror. I hated that nothing fit anymore (my underwear was even getting tight). I hated my body. I did not want this life for me anymore. We only get one body in this life and it is my temple. I needed to start taking care of it.

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I had enough. I HAD to change something. I wanted to share this journey with you so you can get a peek into a part of my life that has become something very important to me. I want to be real with you and share my accomplishments and my struggles with you. So the story begins.

January 15, 2018 was the day that started this expedition. I had tried a previous Beachbody Program, 21 Day Fix, before and I liked the trainer and liked that it was at home so I wouldn’t have to rely on going to my gym on the other side of town.

On this day, Autumn Calabrese launched her newest program 80 Day Obsession. I thought to myself, if I can get through 80 days of this without falling off the wagon, this will start something healthy for me. And it did. I went all in and bought the full year of Beachbody on Demand so I wouldn’t have an excuse for not using it. I also did this so I wouldn’t have to spend the money on the equipment when I could buy those things on Amazon for a little cheaper.

Since that day, I have gone through 5 programs and 1 of them twice in 2018. In 2019, I have done 3 full programs and am on the 4th right now. It’s amazing. I have dialed in my nutrition, worked out almost every day and got great results from it. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows though. It hasn’t always been easy.

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I had to take a week long break in my first program because I re-injured my back. I felt awful taking that time off, but grateful I noticed when I needed to stop to prevent a further injury.

In the summer, I hit a lull in my weight loss. I kept up with the same nutrition and workout programs as before and nothing was happening. I felt stuck and helpless in what to do.

I have constantly gone up and down in my weight and still to this day I struggle with water intake. It’s a roller coster of emotions and there are some good days and some bad days, just like everyone else.

However, through all of this I have learned some great things about my health.

I have learned some allergies and intolerances and which stuff to cut out of my diet. I found out I am allergic to some vegetables and the most servere one I have encountered was Jackfruit. I also cannot have lactose. So I don’t drink regular milk and I have cut back a lot on cheese. I also watch my portion control to make sure I am not eating too much and stopping when I start to feel full.

I have been meal prepping every week and I plan these based on what I should eat and what time of the day. I will even incorporate how to do this on a budget.

I’ve found out what work outs work best for me and how to safely and correctly lift weights. I have started recording my workouts so I can look back and check my form and see how much I have progressed. I love doing programs over again as well because you start to feel so different. You notice that you are no longer modifying or “feel like you are dying.” That is one of the best feelings for me.

 
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And last but not least, I have learned how to properly set goals for myself. These things do not happen overnight, or within a few days or weeks. It takes a LONG time. It feels like forever and it sucks on some days when you feel like you are not getting anywhere. I have found out what are realistic expectations and also not have something really concrete. I don’t have certain numbers I want to reach, I have ranges. I know that I am not going to look like other girls, but I can have an image on what I want to work towards.

 
 

This journey is never ending and I am so thankful I was introduced to something that started my love for health and fitness. It’s amazing what you can do when you are determined enough.

One place, how I do different angles with the same pose and area

During photo sessions, I may ask you to stay in one place for a while. I have had the concern expressed to me how this makes clients believe that they won’t get a lot of photographs from their session. The main reason why I do this is for variety. I want to make sure I get the BEST possible photograph with that specific location as well as get more options.

When I go through the photographs to “weed out” some, I look for which photographs are most flattering (i.e. no blinking, hair caught in the wind, etc.). Having multiple angles and poses in one location helps with this. I want to share with you an example of what I have done with Lauren, my wonderful model and cousin with one location.

1. I started finding a location that I could move around (this yellow wall). It had no barriers, it was pretty open and it was unique.

2. I placed her right in the middle of the wall.

 
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3. I moved around and had my camera go all sorts of directions to get some good shots. I also had her move around based off what I was seeing on the back of my camera. I also looked for what might end up being in the background based off of where I was standing.

 
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4. Here are all the photos I got based off this one yellow wall. 

 
 

5. Around this yellow wall were multiple other places I used for the session. You can see how I used each spot differently by looking through these photographs.

 
 

Don’t assume just because I am using a small amount of locations that you won’t get a lot of photographs. All of these photos I took were in one block of each other. We just went around a courthouse and found these buildings all around. So don’t get discouraged when I am only taking you a short distance during your session.