July 30, 2012

Sunset on the water

One evening while out on Lake Shasta, I climbed the ladder stairway to the top deck of the boat where some of us had gathered in the hot tub there. The sunset out beyond the lake caught my eye immediately, and my blossoming little photographer brain started whirring into action. I eyed my gorg sister-in-law in her cute striped and pink bikini, eyed the bar-top table at the end of the boat, cleared my throat, and said, “ummm… Kelsey? Can you come lay up on this counter thingee and let me take some pictures of you in the sunset?” 

She very graciously obliged, and we were both blown away by the amazing shots we got. So much so that we did it again the next night with casual clothing and also with Kara our neice, for her senior portraits. (just you WAIT to see those… oh em geeee…)

I absolutely love the perfect summer vibe of these photos… Here are a few of my favorites.

IMG_2947-2bIMG_2947-12IMG_2946-1bIMG_2943-1bIMG_2954-1b SOMLIMG_3414-1b IMG_3408-1b

IMG_3415-1b IMG_3416-1b IMG_3432-1bIMG_3417-1b 

Hope you have a happy, sunny Monday. :)

July 29, 2012

Organic Peach Pie


It is peak peach season right now, and the absolute best time for recipes made with these succelent little orbs of juicy, sweet goodness. Nature’s candy, I tell you.  And since it seems I copy everything she does, I knew I had to make my very own peach pie when Kristin mentioned she was making one the other night. It always helps to have friends who are far more Martha Stewart-esque than you, you know? They’re a good influence. Stay tuned for the same recipe from her later this week! But if you’re planning out the week’s meals and treats, be sure and add this easy and crowd pleasing pie to your agenda. Matthew was rendered speechless upon first spoonfuls of pie and ice cream yesterday afternoon. If caveman grunts are any indication of how delicious it turned out, I think it probably scored a ten. ;) 

Organic Peach Pie 

Organic Peach Pie
*organic peaches are not necessary, but they are the one fruit I almost exclusively buy in organic due to the high pesticide content.

Pillsbury package of 2 crusts
4-6 cups sliced peaches - about 6-8 medium ones (no need to peel them)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
1 TBS butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 425. Place bottom pastry crust in pan. Mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in peaches and lemon or lime juice. Turn into pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with top pastry. Seal, flute, and cut a couple slits in the center. Cover edges with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown, and fruit mixture is starting to bubble. Cool on wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy!

July 27, 2012


Good Friday morning to you! I am off to a slow start this morning… and every morning this week, for that matter. Isn’t the week after a fabulous vacation just grand?  Luckily, today I have a perfect little shop and two excellent blogs for you to browse. Enjoy them!

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Flow Designs and the lovely shop owner, Leslie, have been with me over there on my sidebar over a year now. I am so proud to help promote this gorgeous, quality jewelry—both on the blog and off! (I own a pair of Flow earrings and have given the jewelry as a gift.) You simply must visit the shop to get the full effect of these beautiful pieces, but here’s a little preview, as well… this one is my all time favorite!

Flow Shop

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Up next is a blog by another loyal sponsor of mine, Kristie Was Here. Kristie is the best of every world, if you ask me. A photographer with a really great eye for composition, a writer who really touches your soul and makes you think, and a beautiful person, inside and out. She writes openly and honestly about some of life’s toughest topics (divorce, suicide, depression), and you will find yourself lost in the pages of her blog. I have found myself both laughing and crying with her on more than one occasion. Write a book, Kristie? Great, thanks. :)

Kristie Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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Secondhand Sundays is an absolutely beautiful blog by its equally beautiful author, Bekuh. This blog is a little slice of eclectic heaven, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked as soon as you step first foot over the virtual threshold. Get to know this vintage and handmade-loving, DIY-doing, delicious meal-making beauty a little more over here, and oh! Check out her closet. So many gorg, bright colors. Does anyone else want to live in there?! Enjoy this gem!

Bekuh Blog | Shop | Facebook | Twitter

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Happiest of Friday to you!

July 26, 2012

More From Lake Shasta

A houseboat is not a yacht. This much is true. It’s a little more like a floating camper, and I recommend actually liking the people you are floating along with or things might seem a little too close for comfort. Sharing one tiny shower, for example, in which you all must take “military showers” lest the boat’s dirty water tank fill up too quickly. Luckily, our family really likes each other, so it was still an amazing time. We spotted eagles soaring over head, cougar prints in the sand, big fish jumping, and millions of twinkling little stars in the blackest night sky you’ve ever seen. Funny, but one of my favorite moments from the trip was laying out on the top deck of the boat one evening and oohing and ahhing at the satellites and shooting stars as they whizzed on by. It’s just something you don’t usually take the time to see.

Here are a few more photos from the weekend…

IMG_2930-1 IMG_3025-1storyboardtest003nieces Kara and Lana… more gorg pics of them to come

IMG_3020-1 Cougar prints in the sand at the shore

IMG_3697-12Was teaching one of Matthew’s sisters to shoot with backlight in manual, and this was a pretty decent test shot we got!

IMG_2974-2IMG_3003-1doesn’t she look like she’s glowing? beautiful.

IMG_2965-1our houseboat!

IMG_3110-1SIL Kelsey… I think this picture looks like a perfume ad!

storyboardtest002IMG_3454-1my lovely MIL

IMG_3720-1IMG_3733-1not my finest photographic moment.


Oh, and also. I got some of the most amazing sunset shots of my gorg sister in law and niece, and seriously cannot wait to share them. Mind-blowing, they are. Here’s a little sneak peek of what’s to come…


July 25, 2012

Lake Shasta, The Beautiful

IMG_3169-1Shirt on sale here, Swimsuit from here and here

Happy Wednesday, everyone! As I alluded to in Monday’s post, we were on beautiful Lake Shasta with family all weekend, and oh what a wonderful memory it will always be. The lake was absolutely pristine and gorgeous… smooth, sea green, and glittering water surrounded by beautiful pine forests and mountains. It was cool in the mornings and warmed up to the 90’s during the day… perfect for laying out on the top deck of the houseboat, floating along in a tube on the lake, or almost dying on a jet ski riding on a jet ski with your husband who likes to purposely go too fast and jump waves and almost give his wife a heart attack. Not that that happened. 

The funny thing about vacation is that it’s almost always a little bit stressful. Traveling itself is kind of awful most of the time, what with the mouth breathers who didn’t brush their teeth that morning sitting right beside you on the plane, or the kid kicking you in the back every two minutes for hours at a time, or the flight delays and other things. I think Matthew and I have yet to take a trip during which we didn’t want to murder each other at one point or another, or from which we came home saying “ahhh… I feel more relaxed and stress free than ever before.” But that’s not really always the point, is it? It’s an absolute privilege to spend time with each other and family, making memories and seeing beautiful places on this Earth you might have never seen before.  The ability to travel is, I think, one of the #1 things that drives me and my husband to succeed in our respective endeavors. What a beautiful world we live in, and what a shame it would be to not really see it. 

Anyway, enough of my rambling for now. Here are a few more photos from the trip… more coming tomorrow!

storyboardtest001the above left wasn’t our houseboat… ours was two stories. But this one was cool too! :)

IMG_2796-1 IMG_2811-1MIL :)

storyboardtest003 FIL… and our ship’s captain :)

IMG_2791-1IMG_2875-2 Matthew and nephew

IMG_2854-1SIL Kelsey and other nephew


The before… as I told Matthew I didn’t want to get my hair wet…IMG_2889-1

The after… IMG_2897-1-2IMG_3052-1IMG_3048-1

Sorry to blind you with my whiteness in that last picture. And FYI, that whiteness is now redness. Ouch.  Check back tomorrow for more fun photos at the lake. :)

July 24, 2012

Marolsha Locket Giveaway

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I have a giveaway courtesy of Marolsha, a wonderful Etsy shop stuffed full of beautiful vintage themed jewelry. I picked out this locket especially for one lucky winner, because I’m sort of in love with it… she’s a beauty, isn’t she?! Enter to win below…


To Enter:
(only mandatory entry—please leave your email address in your comment if it’s not on your Blogger profile!)
+ Visit the shop and leave a comment with one of your favorite pieces

For Extra Entries:
(all represented by separate comments, please)
+ Like Marolsha on Facebook
+ Like Story of My Life on Facebook
+ Pin a photo of an item from the shop onto one of your Pinterest boards, and provide the URL to your pin

Good luck! :)

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And the winner of last week’s Rustic Living giveaway is…


Congrats girl! I’ll be in touch. :)

July 23, 2012

Oh hey, I’ve been in California.

Last week I failed to mention that I’d be with family floating along Lake Shasta in a houseboat all weekend, but… well, I’m telling you now.  And wow, wow, wow…. I’d never been to Shasta before, or Northern Cali for that matter, and how incredibly gorgeous! You better believe I took a zillion pictures which will certainly be shared here soon, but for now, while I’m getting back into routine, here’s a rather nautical outfit befitting of an adventure such as this one, eh? Please excuse the hasn’t-been-washed-in-four-days lake hair. And check back soon for more tales from the houseboat…

IMG_3757-1IMG_3763-1IMG_3757-2 Pants: J.Crew, Shirt: Madewell, Shoes: c/o Blowfish, Necklace: Sora Designs

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