Wednesday, August 1, 2012

White Tree {Keisha}

I am so lucky to be blessed which such wonderful friends and fabulous practice models. Since I started my White Tree project, my friends and family have been sweet enough to let me snap as many pics of them as I want! This lovely lady is one of my dearest friends, and she was so patient as we took pictures in 90 degree weather. My biggest challenge during this shoot was the sun. Me and Mr. Sun have a little work to do on our relationship. But that is what practice is for, right? I hope you all enjoy! 

I think that Keisha's photos turned out really nice considering that we were both about to pass out in the heat. This is what was really going on behind the scenes :)

But seriously, she was such a blast to shoot. And don't you love her leopard print cardigan? 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{Tone Up Tuesday}

Hello Ladies! For about a month, I put this little blog of mine on the back-burner. With a three-week vacation, a new job, and a move into a new house, I thought a break was needed. But heck, when you take a month off, you get just a little too comfy. I decided it was time to get my butt back in gear. So, here I am!

While doing some brainstorming for the blog and reading over some of my favorite blogs, I ran across a fellow Okie's "Tone Up Tuesday" idea. I have wanted to add a little bit of fitness to my blog for awhile, so I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate it! And, it was Tuesday!

So, I just accepted that I needed to get my butt back in gear in more ways than one (the first step is acceptance, right?).That three-week vacation I mentioned up there... yeah, it killed my diet and ate it for dinner. I had been doing so good, and then I traveled to the East coast. While there, I was surrounded by BBQ, fried food, and lots of home-cooking. I tried to be good, really. But, when I came back home, I quickly realized I didn't do too good. 

A week or two after we got back, I ran walked in the Color Me Rad 5K. I was so sluggish and out of shape that I was embarrassed how little I could actually run. And sadly, I haven't done a thing about it since that day. So, it is time to "get my butt in gear." I have some 5k's to get ready for! 


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Musical {Guest Post}!

Hey guys! I'm Kaleigh and I blog over here!

When Beccah asked if I'd like to do a Musical, I knew exactly what musical I would share. Let's tell a story shall we?

Once upon a time, there was a really dorky little girl named Kaleigh. One might almost call her a dweeb. Kaleigh would come home for elementary school, smelling of crayons and dandelion crowns, get herself a snack and sit down to watch her afternoon movie. And what movie did she choose, you ask?

Yes, I was obsessed with the musical Gigi. Now if you know anything about this musical, please don't judge my mother too harshly. I had no idea what the actual story line was until I was about 18. 

Gigi is a musical adaptation of the book by the same name, was directed by Vincent Minnelli, and is credited to be the last traditional MGM movie-musical.

Set in 20th century Paris, the story revolves around Gaston and Gilbert, a.k.a Gigi. Gigi is the granddaughter of once popular courtesan Madam Alvarez and is in training to take up the *ahem* family tradition. 
 Gigi, played by Leslie Caron

Gaston is a spoiled, wealthy playboy who is bored with life. Amid rumors of infidelity in his mistress, Gaston decides to leave fashionable Paris. After publicly humiliating his mistress, Gaston agrees to play Gigi at cards for a chance to  take Gigi and Madam Alvarez on a vacation to the seaside. Naturally, Gigi wins.
After spending so much time with Gigi, Gaston quickly falls in love with her. But Gigi is not your typical courtesan, and things don't go the way Gaston plans.
I won't spoil the story for you but believe me, it's worth watching! Some of my all time favorite songs are in Gigi, including "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" sang by Honoré Lachaille (Maurice Chevalier), Gaston's charming uncle. Gaston also sings a cynical love song called "It's a Bore" that will get stuck in your head for days.
But my favorite part about Gigi has to be the costumes. Throughout the musical you slowly start to see Gigi maturing through longer skirts and feminine costumes until finally, she emerges as a graceful and confident woman.
Many people have commented on the resemblence between Gigi and My Fair Lady. In fact, a song Gigi sings called "Say a Prayer for Me" was initially intended for Eliza Doolittle, but was dropped and eventually picked up for Gigi. While the two musicals definitely have some resemblance, Gigi is an endearing story that is well worth watching.

 There's so  much more I could say about Gigi, but I'll let you check it out for yourself. If you do watch, let me know! We can sigh over Gaston together ( totally had a crush on him as a little girl)

Thanks for having me Becs!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Musical {Glee}

So... let's be honest - I forgot today was Monday. How do you forget that? Well, I have summer-break brain going on, which means all my days run together. I am also in the process of packing up my house, so I can move this weekend! Yay! 

However, with everything going on today and this week, I didn't get to watch a musical for this week's post (lame lame lame). BUT, I sure did have Glee playing around the clock, and I think that counts as a musical!

So this week, I will look at Fox's hit series, Glee! Woot Woot! Do I have any fans out there? I know this is completely different then a typical musical, but I think it should at least count as the red-headed step-sister in the musical family. The show is packed full of singing, dancing, and of course all the drama of high school (what's not to love)? 

If you aren't an avid fan, let me break it down for you. The show is centered around McKinley High School's glee club. As the students are dealing with relationships, sexuality, and high school drama, they are also preparing for the next big Show Choir competition. There is a musical number for just about everything in this series, and I love it!

The music included in the show is always a popular hit, new or old. The show's mantra is Journey's "Don't stop Believing," but the hits range from the Beatles to Lady Gaga. The director's have a blast with the music and always builds their episodes around it. 

Let me warn you though, if you aren't a follower and want to check it out, there are some major social issues that get thrown around in the show. I'll just lay them out there for you: sex, homosexuality, some drug references, bullying, race, etc. So, if you don't like shows that address these types of issues, Glee is probably not the show for you. But if you want to have a blast singing along with some very talented singers, check it out! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bringing home the (turkey) bacon!

Hello lovlies! Well I started a new job - hence the lack of posts this week! It's been crazy, but it has been so much fun! No worries, I am still teaching in the Fall. This is just a little job on the side!

Lately, I've started running. And by "started running," I mean I've went a handful of times and almost passed out after 20 minutes. So it would make perfect sense that I got a job at an athletic shoe store, right? That's what I thought! I am working at this awesome little store in the heart of OKC! 

We sell everything from running shoes and gear to casual shoes with the same great support. I am actually really pumped to be working here. Unlike a lot of shoe stores, we don't sell any shoes that don't offer the support our feet really need.

You can tell from that paragraph that I am already sold of their purpose and their product. I can't wait to be able to share with you guys some of the awesome stuff I have learned! I'm pretty sure I've called almost every person I know to tell them how crappy our normal tennies really are for our feet! 

One perk of the new job though...
these beauties! 

via google

Be looking for a White Tree post soon. I had a fun shoot with Keisha over at Queen Guinevere! Can't wait to share!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Musical {Mamma Mia!}

The boy has done some amazing stuff the past two days. First, he finally caved and watched Mamma Mia with me (more on this in a sec). Second, he got my internet to work today! I have no idea what is going on with my internet/Mac lately. I have been blaming my internet for the past month for my crappy blog posts, which is true, totally not made up. My internet will work for a day and then it won't work for like two. I honestly can't understand what is going on. It could be my router or maybe it is my Mac. I've heard that the last update has made some Mac's act up... BUT, it is working now, so I can finally post this week's Musical!

As mentioned above, the boy finally gave in and watched Mamma Mia with me. When we started our musical challenge, this is the one musical he refused to watch. And to top it off, he had no reason of why this musical was on the "no watch" list. I realize most of you ladies are thinking, "well he's a boy, that's why." Which would make sense if my boy didn't spend a majority of his time singing or acting in music theater. So, mine is the exception - he likes musicals! But not Mamma Mia? How can this be? 

All pics via google.
Oh well, he gave in and watched it anyways! I didn't even have to beg; he just wanted to make me happy :) HOW PRESH!

So, now lets talk about Mamma Mia! FINALLY! It is one of my favorite musicals. And I will be talking about the 2008 film adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. The film is based off of the Broadway hit of the same name. The show made it's first appearance in 1999 in London, and it wasn't until 2001 that it hit Broadway. The show is based off of the music of ABBA, and two original members of the band composed the score.

Even though the music is based off of the band, the plot is entirely fictional. The film opens with the soon-to-be bride, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), sending out three very important invitations to her wedding. They are addressed to Sam Carmichael (Brosnan), Harry Bright (Collin Firth), and Bill Anderson (Stellan Skarsgard) - her three potential fathers. After finding her mother's diary, she learns that her dad could be any of these three men, and she wants them to be at her wedding. On a journey to find who she is, Sophie makes a huge mess of things by inviting them without telling her mother (Streep). As old feelings begin to rekindle, all the characters rediscover who they really are. 

Let me just warn you from the get-go, not all of the actors in this film are great singers. To be honest, there are only a handful that are really great. Brosnan usually gets a bad wrap for this film because his singing abilities aren't among the greatest in the cast. He does not have a terrible voice; he just seems to be straining a lot as he sings. He doesn't look comfortable in the film or his voice. But I don't think he is a deal breaker for the film. I actually think he's kinda cute trying to sing his little heart out, but that's just how I am. Another thing to note before watching the film,it is extremely cheesy! That is probably one reason I love it so much! But if cheesy, over acted films get on your nerves, you may not like this one. 

Besides some of the above mentioned warnings, I can't get enough of the film and the music! If you are familiar with any of ABBA's music, then you will recognize many of the major songs: "Honey Honey," "Mamma Mia," "Dancing Queen," "Super Trouper," "The Winner Takes It All," and "Take A Chance on Me," to name a few. There are a total of 23 songs in the film, so plenty of ABBA to go around!

So, if you are a musical lover or an ABBA lover, go check this film out! Even the reluctant boyfriend didn't complain too much after. He wasn't a huge fan, but he did agree that it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Places I go {Rome, Italy}

I can't believe I have been blogging for five months and this is my first travel post! I love to travel. I am that girl who would rather take a road trip across country then fly, or the girl who loves 14 hour plane rides because I know an adventure awaits! I don't know what I would do if I didn't have some sort of trip to look forward to. 

If you haven't noticed, my blog gets a lot of inspiration from Tolkien and Lord of the Rings (nerd alert). And, I have said that, hobbits and I have a special little connection. The only barrier I face is hobbits don't like to leave their holes - that is unless they have a little bit of "Took" blood in them, which is a clan of hobbits. The hobbits who do have "Took" in them, Bilbo and Frodo, are drawn to adventure. So, with that being said, I must have a little bit of "Took" blood in me (now I do realize these are fictional characters, and that I am slightly crazy)! In the real world, however, I do have "Cook" blood in me, so that counts right? One more crazy LOTR mention before I move on: my blog's tagline is also from LOTR, but it has become a life motto of sorts. 

{Not all those who wander are lost}

So now to Rome!

Italy is one of the most recent countries I have been blessed to visit. I have traveled with the same group of people the past few times I have been overseas. This particular trip, we went to Italy, Vatican City, and Greece. And yes, Vatican City is considered its own country, so you better believe I count it as one!

So here is a look at my trip! I won't document every little detail, but I will hit the high points! Get ready for picture overload!

Beautiful Vatican City:

The Vatican is actually located within Rome, and the entire city is walled off. I believe it like 1 mile by 1 mile, or something like that :) It isn't very big though! The population is around 800, so it is the smallest country in the world! 

St. Peter's Basilica! 
The Pieta by Michelangelo
The dome of St. Peter's Basilica! 
The Spanish Steps:

This was one of my favorite moments of the trip. We went to a little coffee house, Cafe Greco. It is the oldest coffee house in the city, and authors such as Mark Twain frequented it often. The coffee house still contains the original furniture that is over 200 years old - how cool! After drinking our Italian cappuccino, we walked about a block further and ran smack dab into the Spanish Steps! The steps themselves lead to a church, but the significance of this area is that it became known as the English Ghetto. This is because, people who developed TB because of the wet climate in England would travel to Italy for drier climate, and they would live in this area. My favorite Romantic poet, John Keats, was one of these people. He lived in a little apartment to the right of these steps. You can see the windows to the apartment in this pic. He actually ended up dying here. His life was a tragic, yet romantic, journey. If you are interested in British or Romantic poets you need to read him (sorry English Major moment). But anyways, we got to tour his room/museum as well!

The Spanish Steps
The Trevi Fountain:

The Trevi is one of the most famous fountains in the world. The legend says that if you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain you are ensured a return trip to Rome! You better believe I threw some coins in that thing :)

The Pantheon:

The Pantheon is most famous for the big hole in it's celling! It was built in 126 AD as a temple to all the gods of Rome. It's circular shape and granite columns are still a marvel to look at. 

The Piazza Novona: 

Strolling along the Piazza Novona was not only one of my favorite moments, but I got to stroll along hand-in-hand with my boy! It was so special walking around with him looking at the local art work. Top moment of the trip!

The Church of St. Peter in Chains:

 What is Rome without the gorgeous churches. We were luckily enough to visit a handful of them. St. Peter in Chains is the Catholic church that believes they contain the chains that Peter himself wore. The church is also home of the Statue of Moses by Michelangelo - holy cow! 

Peter's Chains
Statue of Moses by Michelangelo.
The Colosseum:

I'm pretty sure you all know what the Colosseum is, so I don't think I need to go into details. But let me just say, it was one of those moments you don't forget. 
The boy and me inside the Colosseum!
The Roman Forum and Paul's Prison:

The Roman Forum is home to several ancient government buildings, but it most significantly would have functioned as a marketplace in ancient Rome. It is located at the center of Rome. Right next to the Forum, stands Mamertinum Prison - the prison that Paul (yes, from the Bible) wrote Second Timothy in. While we were standing in one of the confinements, we read a passage from Second Timothy. Let's just say, a few tears were shed at the moment. 
Roman Forum
The hole Paul would have been lowered down.

The Catacombs and St. Paul's Outside the Walls:

We got to tour the catacombs outside the Roman city walls. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside - I guess that might have been a little creepy! They were actually pretty cool though. We only looked at a small portion of the catacombs because the tombs stretched for miles under the surface of the ground. A few of us got lost while trying to keep up with the guide... I'm pretty sure we broke a few rules as we tried to find our way back! After the catacombs, we went to St. Paul's Outside the Walls. St. Paul's is another basilica, and the Catholic church believes that the tomb of Paul is located within the church. This was one of the most gorgeous churches I have ever been in, and I've been to a LOT of churches/cathedrals. The upper facade is one large mosaic.

Well this was just a little overview (a little overview equals 18 pictures; I wonder what an entire overview would consist of)! I hope you enjoy this little tour of Rome. I will be doing more posts about my travels in the future. Some of the other places I have traveled consist of: England, France, Greece, Nicaragua, and my U.S. travels!

All photos were taken by me. If you would like to use any of these photos for personal use, please ask me first and link them back to this blog.