June was a busy month for me even though I actually only had two weddings. Despite that, I still managed to be out of town almost every weekend and the days flew by (as usual). I actually had a harder time coming up with this list because I felt like I was just gone so much of the month. But I did pull it together and I’m excited to share this with you!
01. White Sandals from TJMaxx
I have pretty much exclusively worn my birks all summer long for the last two summers, but they are finally starting to fall apart and I wanted to get a different pair of sandals to mix it up this summer. I found these super cute white ones from TJMaxx and I have been living in them the last few weeks. Not only do they go with pretty much everything, but they also are super comfortable! I couldn’t find a link for the exact sandals I bought, but I did find these cute ones from Lulu’s that are pretty close. And you could always just go check out your local TJMaxx and see if you find them. 🙂
02. Acaí bowls
So I’m probably late to the game, but I had never had an acaí bowl before my California trip a few weeks ago. I’ve heard of them but never really knew what exactly they were. At the beginning of the month, I went to a wedding as a guest and several of my friends were telling me how much they love acaí bowls and that I definitely needed to try it as soon as I could. I had one morning to myself while in California and wasn’t feeling a typical breakfast so I looked up acaí bowl places and found one close to the beach and oh my goodness, it was incredible! I got a tropical bowl, so it had mango blended with the acaí for the base and pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, coconut, granola, and agave syrup on top. Talk about a delicious breakfast! I obviously don’t have a link to share for this, but I can tell you that you should do yourself a favor and look up a place near you that makes these amazing bowls of heaven.
03. Canon 24-70mm lens
I have been eyeing this lens for a while, but it was never high on my priority list for purchase because I prefer shooting entirely on prime lenses (lenses with fixed focal lengths instead of the ability to zoom). However, I knew that this is an amazing travel lens and I decided to get it before my California trip. I am SO grateful I got it because it was absolutely perfect for the engagement session and I was honestly blown away by the quality. I’ve surprised myself by how much I have been using it at shoots and weddings since purchasing it. I still love my prime lenses, but this one is definitely going to be used a lot more than I thought.
04. Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Keto Recipe
The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks is my favorite Starbucks drink (unless it’s fall and then my favorite is the Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew). However, I really try hard not to drink sugary drinks and I realized I was getting this way too much with all my traveling. I decided to look up a recipe to make it at home and I found this one. It’s not a keto recipe, but I simply substitute stevia for the maple syrup and voilá, it’s a sugar-free, keto-friendly homemade Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. I am lazy and have just been buying cold brew coffee from Aldi’s but you could make your own if you want. Either way, if you are a fan of this drink from Starbucks, I can’t recommend this recipe enough. I actually think I like it better than the real drink, it’s that good.
05. Used Bookstores
This is another thing that I can’t link to, but I found myself in two different used bookstores this month and I haven’t wandered in a used bookstore in a looong time. I think I forgot just how magical it is and I’m now determined to go check out some cool looking ones in Pittsburgh. There’s actually a cute little one in downtown Steubenville (local friends if you haven’t checked it out, you should!) I had been there before but it had been several years and I went when my friend, Kelsey was in town visiting us last week. The other used bookstore I was in Detroit when I was at my friend’s wedding as a guest. We had some downtime between the ceremony and the reception (such a novel concept to a wedding photographer haha) and we went to this amazing used bookstore. I found this incredible book filled with Italian renaissance art and I intend to frame several of the pieces in the book!
06. French Press
Ok, so confession, I’ve had this french press for over a year, but I felt the need to include it in this list because I use it every single day and I am now a little bit spoiled when it comes to coffee. It really isn’t that complicated to use, it just brews for 8 minutes so I just start it when I come down in the morning and make breakfast while the coffee is brewing. If you love coffee, you should get yourself a french press and try making it this way!
07. Front Porch Planters
I guess this is another thing I can’t exactly link to, but I am completely in love with all my plants on our front porch and really happy with the collection of planters I have found! They are from TJMaxx, Lowes, Walmart, and Amazon. One thing I’ll mention is, it is vital to check your planters and make sure they have drainage holes…I did not do that and I drowned a few of my plants. I really have no idea why people ever make planters without drainage holes, but they do and they will kill your plants.
08. Camera Backpack
This is another thing that I’ve had for quite some time and I actually switched to a rolling camera bag at the beginning of this year. However, this backpack was perfect for my California trip this month because a rolling bag would have been impossible to navigate through the beach and woods. This bag is so well made and has lasted well over the years. It is perfect for traveling with your gear – I especially love that the opening is against your back which makes it virtually impossible for someone to break into it while you’re wearing it. It also can easily hold two camera bodies, several lenses and a couple flashes.
If you need to create any sort of graphic, use canva! I use canva (both the desktop and mobile version) almost every day and it is so easy and fun to use. I use it for both my business and ministry as well as personal projects. There is a huge variety of templates to chose from which you can completely customize or you can start any project from scratch. Basically I am obsessed and I can’t recommend it enough!
10. Iphone 12 Pro
For years I said I would never switch to an iphone, but my previous phone has been giving me problems since the day I got it. I’ve made do with it for over a year and a half, but it was getting so unreliable that it was starting to give me problems on wedding days (and that is not ok). I decided to finally switch to an iphone because all my other electronics are apple products and I knew it would be so much easier to sync everything with my phone. I ended up getting an iphone 12 pro a few weeks ago and I have to admit, I am very very happy with it. The camera (or cameras I should say) are beautiful and the best part: it works perfectly.