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my bff jen

This is my friend Jen. She and I have known each other for going on twenty-five years! In December, I was able to do a shoot of Jen and her adorable daughter Emma down in Dallas. I’ll share photos of Emma and both of them together soon, but today I just wanted to show off my bff Jen.

Jen is one of those friends who I can tell anything. Absolutely anything. And never will she judge me.

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Jen is strong. She is the living, breathing definition of “survivor”. She has gone through more crazy stuff than pretty much anyone I know, and yet she has weathered it all and come through with her sense of humor intact, still loving and living life.

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Jen is not afraid to ask the hard questions. She thinks things through deeply before forming opinions or convictions. I admire her ability to question and yet still believe.

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Obviously, Jen is beautiful! {Quick, what actress does she look like?? :)} Whenever I am anywhere with Jen, it seems like people are always telling her how beautiful she is. :) I love her hair and eye color combo! So pretty!

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Actually, Jen is not really just one of my best friends. She is family. Our hearts are bonded in a way that is usually reserved for siblings.

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Love you, Jen!!!

~abi~

ps Get this: I found those pretty amazing leather boots for Jen at Goodwill for $6.99!!! :) Also, I know Jen got her scarf and skirt at the thrift store, too! Yay for thrifty best friends! ;)

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Kathleen MillerJanuary 25, 2011 - 9:48 pm

Abi, once again- you are such a gifted photographer and ARTIST. These are aamzing! I love al the different patterns, textures, colors, etc. SO fun. Those boots are MY FAVORITE! I want some like that more than anything. size 7.5 ;) ;)

~abi~January 25, 2011 - 9:53 pm

thank you! i'll keep an eye out for some boots for you! ;)

Huntington PhotographyJanuary 25, 2011 - 10:52 pm

Great Job Abi! Couldn't agree with you more on the Amy Adams look alike.

Hayley WellsJanuary 27, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Great job Abi – the pictures are amazing! What is even more amazing is the fact that you were able to put into words how special/wonderful/original/EVERYTHING Jen is to people like you and me. Thank you for doing this :)

~abi~January 27, 2011 - 2:22 pm

thank you, john!

and thank you, hayley – means a lot coming from another best friend of jen's!!!

Kelly BeaneJanuary 28, 2011 - 3:14 pm

Jen is so very fabulous and these photos are the perfect representation of that! Awesome session!

CassieJanuary 28, 2011 - 11:20 pm

Jen you look amazing!! Love the outfit! Love the pix!! Love love love!!!

[…] pix to post next week. So, if you’re unfamiliar with my life or my blog, this is my BFF Jen and her daughter Emma.  As I was readying these photos to post, I was thinking about my wonderful […]

sometimes i rock tennis shoes

Anyone who knows me would probably describe me as a “heels girl” when it comes to my footwear of choice. But lately, I have been craving the instant feeling of coolnes that comes with sporting a fresh pair of kicks. And since I am ever in the pursuit of that elusive label of “being cool”, I figured some sweet tennis shoe outfits might do the trick. And yes, I do usually plan my outfits around my shoes. You don’t?

My too-cool-for-school friend Cassie got me this awesome pair for my birthday. Love ’em! Thanks, Cass!

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I especially enjoy the fade from dark to light purple.

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{sweater dress and leggings – Ross; belt – Rue 21}

This rad yellow pair I’ve had in my closet for months and months. I think I’ve worn them once, or maybe twice. Got ’em at Ross.

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{shoes – Ross; black skinnies {actually they’re jeggings, i just hate calling them that} – by Elle at Kohls; plaid shirt – Tommy Hilfiger from Goodwill :)}

Have a fun weekend, friends. Be cool. ;)

~abi~

***In case you can’t tell, these are all phone pix, so don’t judge color and quality too harshly, ‘kay? :)***

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CROBJanuary 22, 2011 - 5:24 am

OK…. I JUST HAVE TO SAY I LOVE IT THAT IM FOLLOWER #23!! YES!! BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT THAT YOU R ROCKIN THE TENNIS SHOES! U LOOK AMAZING! LOVE YOU GIRL!
~CROB!

~abi~January 25, 2011 - 5:00 pm

yay! love you, cass!

snow days {yay!} and wrinkles {boo!}

This morning, I was thrilled to discover that schools were closed for a snow day, or actually an ice day, here in Oklahoma. I called work and my kind boss told me to see how it was around noon and then decide if I wanted to come in late. Yay. I promptly went back to sleep for a couple more hours.

When I went out to start my car and let it thaw, this is what the ground looked like:

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Are you northerners laughing?

But, there was still some ice on my little ol’ car.

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Anyway, I survived the Great Ice Storm of 2011 {sarcasm} and headed in to work. :) But I did love the extra sleep!

In completely unrelated news…I turned thirty less than one month ago, and suddenly I have wrinkles developing on my forehead?!? What’s up with that???

Look!

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Boo! :(

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I noticed that I am sporting some sexy under-eye circles, too, in that first photo. I was sporting them in the second photo as well, but I photoshopped them out. I was too lazy to go back and fix ’em in the other one. haha.

Dumb wrinkles.

~abi~

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Steve RiceJanuary 20, 2011 - 11:54 pm

lol…i went downtown yesterday and walked out onto the lake. THAT's ice! j/k. I am laughing cuz KC is getting hammered this winter (after I leave for WI). It's been snowy here, but not nearly as bad as i expected. They clear it so fast (for the next time), that it's easy to get around. Stay safe! Oh, and rock the 30's…they're the best…wrinkles and all! Ur still a hot mama, IMHO!

Kelly BeaneJanuary 21, 2011 - 4:01 am

Abi's school must have been one of the only one's that didn't cancel, craziness here I tell you. Sometime Oklahoma amazes me. I have to say that I am excited to get into my 30s. Of course I say that now. ;) And I must say I adore your beautiful wrinkles. So many stories and much character behind those little things. I already have some at 26. It'll all be alright. :)

you rang?

Not that there is a fiancé, or even a boyfriend, on the horizon for me; but after seeing this post on A Cup of Jo this morning, engagement rings are on my mind. I used to tell everyone and anyone that I wanted the hugest, splashiest diamond ring ever when I got engaged…something about how a guy should spend more on The Ring than he did on his car, signifying the perceived value of his relationship, blah blah blah. And it’s not that I don’t think that at all now, but over the past few years, my thoughts on engagement rings have changed some. I’ve never seen Blood Diamond, but I am aware that there are scandalous and awful things having to do with the diamond trade. And my overall style and taste has changed and developed to where I appreciate and desire more unique clothing, accessories, or whatever. So I guess it’s only natural that my ideas about what I want for an engagement ring would also change.

So, I ran a quick search on etsy {I mostly looked at emerald and jade rings, because I love the color green and think either one would make a cool engagement ring} and pulled these in about five minutes. They range from the ridiculous to quite reasonably priced.

First there’s this detailed sterling silver and emerald ring, which might just be a tad extravagant in the pricing…

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Then you have this pretty thing: the most typical engagement-type ring of the ones I chose, except with an emerald instead of the usual diamond center stone.

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I especially love this vintage ring. I love the idea of getting a ring that has been around for a long while.

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Probably my favorite of the ones I saw today is this uniquely beautiful jade ring. Even though there’s a lot of heavy gold going on in the design, I would gladly sport it on my ring finger! :)

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I had never heard of this stone before, but I thought this ring was oh-so-charming. And I love the thought that no one else would have a ring like it.

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So, there you go. A round up of potential engagement rings from a girl who doesn’t even have a boyfriend! How’s that for random — and perhaps just a tiny bit wistful. ;)

~abi~

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AnonymousJanuary 19, 2011 - 10:05 pm

I love the ring at the bottom! It is very pretty! I've always said because I've had to wait so long to find the "right guy" that I better get a BIG ring!!! We shall see if that's actually happens.

VictoriaJanuary 19, 2011 - 10:25 pm

I've always wanted a big ring, too. And, I'm not a big jewelry-wearer. I've also always wanted a Tacori ring. I love how they're a little vintage..anyway, I saw this on their fb page a few days ago and LOVE it for a diamond-alternative. I've always loved sapphires…good thing I was blessed with it as a birthstone. :)

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/photo.php?fbid=1668676989142&set=o.188183079039

~abi~January 19, 2011 - 10:33 pm

victoria~
i love, love tacori rings!!!

JacquelynJanuary 20, 2011 - 9:44 pm

I love that we both blogged about wedding stuff in the past couple of days. Even though we don't have boyfriends. Um, God? Cool. Thanks. ;)

Kelly BeaneJanuary 21, 2011 - 2:34 am

I remember when you used to talk about having a huge ring :) I adore the third vintage one, of course that's probably because it's the most traditional… and you know me :)

the process of inspiration

This past Saturday, I did a portrait session for my friend Brandie that I just loved!!! I absolutely adored the entire process. The shoot was done in my house, utilizing window light from the double french doors in our dining room, and a gray paper background that I have owned forever.

I would like to explain a little about what inspires me. See, Brandie is a huge fan of the show Gossip Girl. She and my friend Jen both convinced me that I needed some Chuck and Blair, and Serena and Dan or Serena and Nate or Serena and whoever {but mostly Chuck and Blair ;)}, and some Upper East Side Fashion {yes, with a capital F} in my life. It didn’t take me long to become completely hooked. I started last year and went through all the seasons on disc, and now I am anxiously awaiting the return of new episodes! :)

When I saw the episode with Serena wearing this look for her mother’s wedding, I just loved it…

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And in another episode, when Serena attended The White Party at The Hamptons, her hairstyle was simply stunning…

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I suppose I filed those looks away somewhere in the creative recesses of my brain. But it wasn’t until I came across a vintage yellow dress with a cream lace overlay at a thrift store, that I became consciously inspired. I scooped up the dress, knowing full well that it would never fit me. Instead, I knew I would use it for a shoot. And I hung it on the door fame of my closet. It hung there quietly for months, silently challenging me to come up with a subject and theme for a shoot worthy of it’s uniqueness.

I’m not sure exactly when it came to me, but one day, it all just fell into place. See, I happen to know that my beautiful blond friend Brandie has a ridiculous girl-crush on Serena, and from somewhere in my brain, up bubbled the images from Gossip Girl that I had filed away months ago.

So, I did a Google image search and started a folder of actual inspiration photos. Next, I had to make sure the tiny-waisted vintage dress would fit Brandie. So, I wrapped a strand of ribbon around the waist, cut it to length, and made Brandie “try it on” one night at LifeGroup. :) It fit. Whew.

Here’s one of my very favorite shots we came up with on Saturday.

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{I made the lace “headpiece” – just wide lace and a needle and thread. She’s just holding it here, but it could easily be bobby-pinned into the hair. Oh, and Brnadie made her black bead necklace.}

Now, I had also saved a few images of Blake’s/Serena’s “everyday” hair…

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And when Brandie showed up at my house for the shoot Saturday, she brought a few casual outfit options. So we also did a casual Serena look.

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Honestly, I was completely thrilled with the entire shoot! I will probably do another post sometime featuring more images from it. These were just two of my initial favorites. But seriously, I am like a kid in a candy store when I am executing a shoot that has been stewing in my mind.

One last note about drawing inspiration from whatever random source…..When I am inspired by a look or even another photo shoot that I see {all photographers are!}, I never try to replicate it exactly. Instead, I use it to get my creative juices flowing, and then go from there.

Anyway, just thought it might be fun to share a little bit about my creative process, as opposed to just showing pretty pictures. Hope you all didn’t find this post to be too boring. :)

~abi~

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Kelly BeaneJanuary 18, 2011 - 4:46 pm

Absolutely love these images of Brandi! Great share!

allison harrisonJanuary 18, 2011 - 10:48 pm

i LOVE this!! YOU inspire me!!

JacquelynJanuary 19, 2011 - 10:03 pm

you did amazing. a-maz-ing.

~abi~January 19, 2011 - 10:34 pm

thank you, ladies. :)

LaurenJanuary 27, 2011 - 2:53 am

I love this post!! I think my favorite was the casual look..but I loved it all! It makes me want to get creative..