Aug

10

Q&A with Jenna Johns Photography

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If you haven’t spotted them already, you may have seen a fresh new wave of Nook & Sea blog photos come through {and thank goodness, I was way overdue}! My lovely new sister-friend, Jenna Johns, is one talented woman. And when she offered to snap a few photos during lunch one weekday afternoon, I jumped {excitedly} at the opportunity. Her work is beautiful and I was honored to be the subject of the hour ; ) So to throw a little spotlight her way, here’s a little Q&A sesh with Jenna herself. Visit her website, sign up for her blog, follow this beauty on Instagram and be sure to say hello!

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Q: How did you get started in photography, and & She Wore White?

A: I started playing with the camera as a little gal, always sneaking pictures of my family on the disposable cameras. As I got older, I realized how much I loved capturing the raw moments in life and holding onto them forever. & She Wore White was created through my undying love for weddings and marriage. I love being a part of a couples’ most exciting day together, so documenting that journey is always such an honor to me.

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Q: What’s in the name?

A: My favorite part of photography is the story that is told. Everything from a nervous glance from a bride to be, to the first kiss as husband and wife, or the twinkle in the eye of a soon-to-be freshman in college, it’s all so captivating. Since my photography is mainly geared towards weddings and engagements, I love to finish the story with his outfit description (He wore tan, & She Wore White). It’s just my little way of ending the story as it’s always told… with the bride wearing white.

Q: What are some of your favorite moments? Are you always behind the lens?

A: The most impactful moment I’ve ever experienced was at my first wedding. The bride had just finished putting on her gown, looking so stunning and lovely, and she looked out the window. there was so much excitement and curiosity at the future in her eyes, and at that moment I knew I wanted to see that look forever. As much as I love being behind the lends, I often dip into other interests of mine such as music, design and writing.

Q: Name your gear.

A: Canon Mark II, 85mm Samyang lens, 50mm Canon lens.

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Did I mention she also did my good friend Amanda’s birth announcements for her sweet baby girl? I know… they’re both gorgeous! ; )

Q: How do you describe your style, both professionally and in your work?

A: My style in life and in my work fall into the same category. It’s always changing because I’m always learning. I love simplicity and I love having fun, so I try to bring that out in my work. I like to grab moments that are as raw and real as possible, so it usually includes asking a question to spark a thought, or doing something goofy to make someone laugh. I love those real facial expressions that make you remember a moment.

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Q: You’re a true storyteller by nature. Where does your inspiration lie?

A: Oh goodness, my inspiration lies everywhere. In the ocean, in the forest, in my own stories from childhood. I spent a lot of time as a kid watching people while waiting to be picked up from school, so I would make up stories in my head about their day and sometimes write about them. I hope that imagination never dies.

Q: Your perfect day would be…

A: Waking up to a foggy sky and sitting on the beach with a coffee mug, Bible and journal. Then I’d spend the day on the beach and in the ocean with pals until the sunset, maybe throw in a photo shoot at the golden hour. Then we’d go get sushi and end the day in the backyard talking and laughing about life with the sweet sounds of Sara Bareilles on the record player. Let’s make that happen, you’re all invited.

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Q: All time favorite food?

A: Oh man. I’d say my Grandma’s artichokes. She’s a legend!

Q: Can one person change the world?

A: I love this question. As a believer, I know that I am just a part of the body of Christ, and we all have significant roles and goals set before us. I believe one person can have a major impact on a great number of people, but it all comes down to loving each other like Jesus does. Mother Theresa loved on people and cared for them, so it influenced everyone to do the same. I think it’s a collective effort, but we just have to realized our own identity in Christ and live in that.

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Q: Any last words?

A: Nook & Sea is one of my favorite blogs to browse and learn from, and the creator behind it has such a beautiful soul : ) I’m so grateful to be a part of it!

Read more about Jenna here.

 

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Aug

03

roasted beet salad

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The first time I tried “living” butter lettuce, I was hooked. We were preparing lunch for my aunt’s bridal shower, all of us women stuffed into the kitchen that spring morning chopping, rinsing, cooking. Assigned to salad duty for the afternoon, Mr. Butter Lettuce and I became fast friends. Soft, delicate leaves, the rich color, and its smooth texture was a far cry from the lettuce I was used to. Plus, it’s harvested with it’s roots intact to keep it fresh all the way to your door {in other words: heavenly}!

I was so happy when Haylie’s recipe called for butter lettuce {and may have done a happy dance inside}. The Roasted Beet Salad was another opportunity to reunite with those lovely greens, and once again, be in the kitchen surrounded by family and the aromas of another great meal.

While the book’s recipe calls for both hazelnuts and hazelnut oil, I opted for whole pecans {candied in brown sugar}, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in place of sherry vinegar.

ROASTED BEET SALAD

4 roasted beets {small will work fine}

3 cups butter lettuce {I used one head}

1/4 cup cracked hazelnuts {or candied pecans}

1-2 tbsp goat cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp hazelnut oil {or another drizzle of olive oil}

1 tsp sherry vinegar {or red wine vinegar}

1/2 tsp honey

sea salt + black pepper

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I bought my beets pre-packaged, but would have preferred to bake them myself as they are much prettier {next time}! To roast, scrub whole beets clean and remove any top greens. Place on an aluminum foil baking sheet with a small rub of olive oil and salt. Cover tightly with another sheet of foil for about an hour {50-60 minutes} at 400 degrees. Test doneness by inserting a fork into the flesh; if it slides out easily, they’re done, if not, stick them in again and continue to roast until tender. Allow them to cool a bit before removing the skin {be warned: you may want to use gloves as they stain like crazy}. Slice up, and you’re ready to go! Layer beets over the butter lettuce on a large plate, add in the nuts, and goat cheese crumbles.

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THE DRESSING

Using a lidded mason jar, combine the olive oil, hazelnut oil {if you use it}, vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper and shake in the jar to mix. Create as much dressing as you like, or serve on the side. Ta da!

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This salad is best served on a platter. Allow guests to pick up whole leaves with their hands, including as many toppings as they want, and cut it on their own plates.

It’s fun, unique and a beautiful take on salad! I hope you get to share this with the important people in your life!

xoxo

 

 

 

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Jul

28

green bean cherry tomato salad

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People, my copy of Real Girl’s Kitchen came today, and I am ready to get my cookin’ on! This particular recipe is exclusive to the RGK show on Ora TV {watch the video here}, and is amazingly tasty and easy to prep. The hubs and I made this for dinner after a long day of work and added a little grilled chicken for protein {which is perfect since I always find myself hungry just right before bedtime}! Until I get that well-lit dream kitchen with the cutest girly tools ever {like this, or this, or this}, you’ll have to pardon my lack of step-by-step photos on this one : )

Here’s how ya do it:

1. Blanche a full bag of green beans after snipping off the ends {I used organic} by cooking them for 2 mins in boiling water, then plopping them into an ice bath to prevent them from cooking further. Take them out of the ice bath after a few minutes, rinse them in a colander, and return them to a mixing bowl.

2. Grill up about 1 lb. of chicken breast, and dice once cooked completely. Add into the bowl with the green beans.

3. Quarter your cherry tomatoes, chop some dill {however much you want} and add those in as well.

4. Prep a simple dressing on the side: 1 TSP whole grain mustard, a splash of red wine vinegar and a splash of olive oil. Mix well and pour over your salad. You  may want to make extra and leave it on the table for guests to add on.

5. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste, and use tongs or a spoon to toss the salad until ready!

This dish is the perfect size for two {we tend to share anyways}, and even saved half for lunch the next day.

Can’t wait to show you what I try next!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

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Jul

27

eric’s chia seed pudding

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It’s almost the workweek again?! Say it isn’t so! If you’ve got a case of the Sunday Blues, this recipe is sure to help you forget all about it {and instead, dream of gooey, pudding goodness}. We recently picked up some chia seeds at the grocery store and thought we’d give it a try in our breakfast smoothies and dessert for a healthy kick in the caboose. Chia {yep, those same seeds used to sprout funny-looking “hair” on your Chia Pet in the 1980′s} are concentrated and bursting with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium and antioxidants, so it’s not really pudding, ya? ; )

After researching other recipes online, we decided to make our own. The result was surprisingly sweet and simple!

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Here’s what you’ll need {Serves 4}:

75 grams chia seeds (roughly half of a 5.3 oz packet)

2 cups almond milk

1 TSP vanilla extract

1 TBS white granulated sugar

Fresh or frozen strawberries

Powdered sugar

Sealable mason jar

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Measure out your seeds {these can be put in whenever, but we added them last}. Fill the mason jar with 2 cups almond milk, and add in your vanilla and sugar.

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Next, slowly add in your chia seeds in intervals. I find it best if you add a little, close the lid, shake it up, add a little, close the lid, shake it up…

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Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your puuuudding.

Back to the pudding.

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Once all your seeds are in and well-mixed, stick the jar in the fridge for 4-6 hours {or overnight if you feel like it}.

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After the refridge, the pudding should be similar to tapioca, but with a lot more fun texture {remember, it’s not a custard, so it won’t be crazy thick} and it will fall very slowly out of the jar.

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Top with strawberries and powdered sugar, and eat up! This would also look amazing with freshly-sliced banana, and keep well if you want to pack it for lunch {but add the powdered sugar later}.

Side note: I had to make two bowls while photographing them, so I ate two. Don’t judge.

Any other chia recipes you’re dying to try?

Make it a fab week, friends.

xoxo

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Jul

25

f r i d a y

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TGIF! We made it!!!

After a long week, there’s nothing more I want to do than plop on the couch and stuff my face with junk food {let’s get real here, that would be my dream job}. Speaking of dreaming, I spotted a few must-haves for summer while surfing the web {surfing, another dream}. Anyone with me?

The ever-classic Comfort Sofa from PB {coziness at it’s finest}

West Elm’s Crewel Circlet Pillow Cover in Blue Lagoon

Darling Lovell Buttondown shirt from Anthro {on sale!}

Mail-order recipes from Blue Apron {put to the test by Joanna Goddard this week}

Veronika’s Open Triangle Necklace - a steal at $15.00 buckaroonies!

Happy weekend Sea-er’s!

xoxo

 

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Jul

23

a whale of an obsession

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By Janeane Pittman

I’ve recently had a bit of an obsession with whales when it comes to decor. There’s something about their large presence and how they’ve captivated my attention since a junior high field trip. Seeing God’s creation in the sea made me at peace and felt as though time stood still! It was like they were flying under water with such grace and ease. Capturing the essence of this powerful and graceful creature in art and accessories are plentiful these days – here are some of my favorites!

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To create a design that incorporates a whale, try not to go overboard, (take this streamlined office with minimal furnishings and accessories, for example). The large statement sculpture of a white whale on the back wall creates a relaxed feeling without being too kitschy.

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Pallet Whale Wooden Nautical Art Beach House Decor | Slippin Southern via Etsy | $189

Weathered pallet wood is just the type of piece that can bring the feeling of the sea into your home. If you want a smaller, softer approach, adding pillows with whale imagery to your bedding or sofa will add a bit of fun too!

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Worth Your Whale Pillowcase Set | Modcloth | $29.99

Tabletop options like whale-shaped baskets and bookends add whimsy to any room. I can see these nestled in a shelving unit or in a grouping on a console.

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Rope Whale Storage Basket | Dot & Bo | $67.99

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Start to Fin Bookends | Modcloth | $54.99

Varied installations are great to do when done the right way, like with these whale tale hooks (below). Lined up in a mudroom on white paneled walls, it gives impact without being overly done. They also give functional art to the space that can be used everyday.

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This coastal accessory can add so much to your home! I hope I have inspired you to add a little bit of whale whimsy to your space!

- Janeane

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Jul
20

herb skinny salad: recipe trial from real girl’s kitchen

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Summer is here and SoCal has no shortage of hot, plentiful sunshine! On a quest for some healthy and refreshing dishes, I happened upon this amazing salad recipe from Haylie Duff over at Real Girl’s Kitchen.

{Side note: I absolutely ADORE the Duff sisters… like, really really REALLY adore them}.

But you want to get to that recipe, ya? Onward!

This “Herb Skinny Salad” was featured in Haylie’s detox getaway away with the girls, and it was so unique, I had to give it a try {see the Real Girl’s Kitchen episode here}. So at family lunch this weekend, I decided to prep this salad to a) prove that my kitchen skills do in fact exist, and b) contribute a healthy, new dish to our recipe books. Overall, it was a piece of cake (mmmm… cake) and easily fed our hungry party of 6 with plenty to spare!

Bonus: It just so happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free {minus the lemon juice}, organic, vegetarian AND vegan – all at the same time {and add raw to that list if you opt out of using the toasted pine nuts}. Take that Whole Foods!!!

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What you’ll need {for all ingredients, choose organic if you’d like}:

1 bunch romaine lettuce

5 thinly sliced radishes

1 thinly sliced carrot

1 thinly sliced cucumber

1/4 cup chopped green onions (or green garlic)

1/2 cup chopped mint

1/2 cup chopped dill

Handful of cherry tomatoes (in my case, 1 medium tomato)

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1 cubed avocado

1/2 squeezed lemon

drizzle of olive oil

sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper

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First, rinse the romaine, tearing off the whitish ends near the root, and continue tearing the leaves with your hands to form the salad instead of using a knife {a tip from Haylie: this helps the edges not to turn brown}. Once the main body of greens are prepped, thinly slice up your radishes, carrot and add them in. Beautiful already!

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Instead of using store-bought dressing, Haylie opts for a homemade version instead {which guarantees it’s free of any preservatives}! Using your dill, mint, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil and a dash of coarse sea salt and pepper, you should have the perfect balance of flavor and texture. Add in the toasted pine nuts, and you’re ready to party!

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As the summer sun was setting, the Herb Skinny Salad received rave reviews. For future batches, I would love to try using a little less dill, but everyone commented on just how delicious, simple, and unique the flavors were {not to mention how crazy healthy it is}! This is easily a year-round salad to accompany a large family meal or to enjoy as a dish all on its own!

Check out Haylie’s cookbook and blog, watch full episodes at Ora TV, and stay tuned for more recipe attempts from yours truly.

Wish me luck ; )

xoxo

 

 

 

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