Saturday Adventures

This past Saturday Shelton and I piddled around town and I took my camera. It had been a while since we got some shots of downtown Greenville (or as the city calls it, “Uptown”), and it’s definitely an interesting area. You can tell at one point it was very active, but unfortunately that is not the case these days. Of course, this means there are tons of murals that have become worn over time and also some generally weird stuff from street to street. The weather was beautiful on Saturday and it was a great opportunity to capture it all. Enjoy the photo dump!

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

We outran a vicious dog guarding a tow yard. Just kidding. He was fenced up, but it still scared the sh*t out of us. My favorite part of this picture? The “soda is whack” addition to the mural. I’m all like, yeah man, soda is whack…

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Senior pic or album cover? Viewer’s choice.

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

My favorite.

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

Because this makes sense.

Saturday Adventures | sweetandsavorylife.com

See those Blue Moons? We drank those.

Hope y’all had a grrrrrrreat weekend! Let’s kick Monday in the butt, okay?

Rave on,

Sarah

Wedding Madness: The Instagram Aftermath

Whew. You guys. It’s Tuesday and I feel like I have finally caught up on my sleep from this past weekend. As I shared last week, Shelton and I headed west to put ourselves smack dab in wedding central to watch my best girl get hitched. Did you know that Mondays after a wedding-filled weekend are increasingly harder to get through than run-of-the-mill Mondays? It’s true.

The wedding (and all the events leading up to Alex walking down the aisle) were perfect, and I’m not exaggerating. I’m so happy for Alex and Jeff and believe in their love with my whole heart. But enough of that mushy stuff! I’ll let the Instagrams speak for themselves.

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tat chickhairsnacks

alex mirror

out the window

Needless to say, a lovely time was had by all. My calves still hurt from dancing and I’m still lusting after that wedding cake… and I am excited for whatever beautiful adventures the Universe has in store for myself as well as my friends.

-Sarah

12 Things I’ve Learned About Photography

I’ve been shooting with my Nikon D5100 for a few months now, and it’s drastically changed not only the way I capture memories but also the way I blog. Shooting with a legit camera has definitely taken my photos (and posts) to the next level, to the point where I cannot imagine going back to a point-and-shoot method. I do not take my photography too seriously–it truly is a hobby and I enjoy it.  Below are some tips I’ve learned through online tutorials, a beginner photography class, and (of course) good ol’ trial and error. I’ve included some of my favorite shots I’ve taken thus far.  Happy clicking! -Sarah

1. In the name of all that is holy, watch this video and put your camera strap on correctly.

(Says the girl who dropped her camera in the Target parking lot and then cried afterwards.)

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2. Take your camera everywhere. Chase sunsets.

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3. Your perspective is interesting. Use it.

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4. Natural light is your best friend.

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5. Be trigger happy.

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6. Work hard for a difficult shot. This is how you learn.

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7. Find the closest independently-owned camera shop to you. There will be nice people there. Make friends and learn from them.

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8. Go for walks–just you and your camera.

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9. The more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your subjects will be.

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10. Get over yourself and be silly. It’s not about capturing the perfect shot – it’s about freezing moments in time.

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11. Buy a shutter remote. Not because you need one, but because they are fun.

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12. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Only when you break out of the auto settings will you truly unlock your creative potential.

(I think I just took this post to a whole new level. Better stop while I’m ahead!)

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P.S. When I was compiling these pictures, I noticed that in all of them Shelton is wearing the same shirt. I have let him know that apparently it’s my lucky shot shirt and he should pretty much wear it all the time.

Road Trip Instagrams

Well, hello there. I am back from my little blogging break and am super excited to see you! Shelton and I had a wonderful time in Texas and made so many memories with family during the holidays. Getting there was quite the journey, and it was anything but dull. Here are some snapshots from the road as well as from Carthage. I hope that 2013 is treating you well… -Sarah

Follow me on Instagram, why don’t ‘cha? @sarah1119

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Spuds’ Lair aka The Back Seat / Chasing sunsets / Pit stop in ATL where we ate this and this {yolo}

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Shady Notel / Last exit to Carthage / Big beers and even bigger cheers

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BFFs since age 4 / The best book I’ve read in 2012 / New kicks from Old St. Nick

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Sopapilla Cheesecake / Hedbandz champion / Truck stop shenanigans

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Suburbian fireworks show / New bag / NC or bust

Happy 2013, y’all.

Remembering 2012: Turning Twenty-Fabulous

When I woke up on September 28, 2012, I thought it was just going to be another birthday. Shelton and I had some fun things planned for the evening, but for the most part I assumed it’d be like any other Friday. A little work, a little play, a sweet card… you know, the usual. He had already surprised me with my Nikon D5100 a couple weeks back, so I didn’t think there was anything else planned. Well, I was completely wrong. 

We woke up, did some yoga, then he went to walk Spuds while I hung out in the apartment (normal routine). When it seemed like he had been gone too long, I tried to text him. He called me while I was texting him and told me this crazy story about how he ran into the police dealing with a situation on-site and he had to help them out (since he is basically a manager here at the apartments). I groaned, told him it was fine and that I understood. I mean, come on, our background is pretty much stories like this in a nutshell. Having working in higher education for many years, there is always a situation that needs to be handled. I didn’t think twice about it.

Before we got off the phone he told me he needed me to find his wallet–that the police needed his driver’s license number for his statement. I started scouring the apartment, and was of course flustered by the whole ordeal. It wasn’t even 9 AM on my birthday and already it felt like I was off to a rough start. I couldn’t find his wallet and he kept telling me weird places to look, like the nightstand drawer, in between the couch cushions, the office… I hung up with him and flipped up the couch cushions (violently, if I might add) and that’s when I found it: my birthday card.

I opened it up and that’s when the day really got going. Turns out there was no drunk kid passed out at the bus stop, no police on the scene, no statement to be given, no wallet to be found because Shelton had it in his possession the whole time. The card, while being over the top sweet (my favorite line: “You thought the camera was it–no, now we have to go capture memories!”), directed me to go look in “The Birthday File” in the office filing cabinet. In there I found a packing list and road snacks. At that moment, Shelton walked in the apartment with a big ol’ smile on his face. He totally got me. I was shocked. Spuds was a doggy hotel down the road, Shelton had already told my boss that I wouldn’t be working that day, and we had a whole day and night ahead of us… What made all of this so amazing is that I had no idea where we were headed or what was on the agenda. Seriously, do this at some point for your girlfriend/wife/husband/boyfriend. I was knocked off my feet!

That day we ended up going to an amazing shopping center in Durham (Shelton can’t remember what it was called!), Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, and then to see Joan Rivers live at the Durham Performing Arts Center. It was a crazy awesome experience–one that I’ll never forget. Best 25th birthday ever.

Below are pictures from that weekend, including a trip to the Farmer’s Market and International Festival in Raleigh the next day. I was still getting used to my Nikon, so bear with me!

Seriously, the most incredible beer I have ever had. Blueridge Blueberry Wheat at Top of the Hill… I know it sounds crazy, but it was delicious, and I actually daydream about it on a weekly basis.

View of the street. Chapel Hill, NC is home to UNC-Chapel Hill and is a very vibrant college town. Apparently on game days this whole street is full of people and they have to re-direct traffic. Oddly enough, we saw a few people wearing UT shirts. Texas just follows us everywhere, and I love it.

My favorite picture of Shelton. He’s my best friend.

Oh my gosh, this crab and shrimp dip changed my LIFE.

Not yo average nachos…

At the Farmer’s Market. I have no idea what these things were called… but I found them very intriguing.

How cute are these little Venus Fly Traps?

I bought a succulent, but it has since died.

Biggest pumpkins ever.

This is Elise, Shelton’s niece. She’s pretty much the cutest kid ever.

I think this is Sir Walter Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center. Yeah, that sounds right.

The 28th annual International Festival. So much to see!

All in all, super successful birthday. Shelton’s birthday is next March. If you have any ideas on how to surprise him, I’m all ears!

-Sarah

Remembering 2012: Pitt County Fair

Confession: I have never been to a full blown state fair. That’s pretty sad to admit, because I come from Texas… a land that is known (among many things) for it’s annual state fair full of fried foods and Big Tex (RIP, bro). It turns out that North Carolina has a decent state fair also, but time slipped away from us and we weren’t able to attend. BUT we did get to go to the county fair here in Greenville and had the best time. I got to play with my camera and slow shutter speeds (more pictures below!) and basically… I’m just a sucker for Ferris Wheels and funnel cakes, what can I say?

Shelton in line for some freedom fries! (They were really on the menu – Dubya would be so proud.)

Shelton enjoying said freedom fries. Also this is my new favorite picture of him. It’s my phone background.

AAARGHH!

Red velvet funnel cake with cream cheese icing. And powdered sugar, of course.

Playing with slow shutter speeds while on the Ferris Wheel.

The next night, we set up my camera in a field outside of the fair. I played with my camera for about an hour, adjusting shutter speed, aperture, and white balance and finally got some good shots. But, not before I got some blurry ones…

Whoops.

I had Shelton stay in one spot while I tried to get the focus correct. Here, the flash was way too bright.

Almost there?

Such a ham for the camera :)

So close! But upon closer inspection the lights behind us are actually more in focus than our faces. Read: no good.

Last shot of the night–perfect! Could I cheese any harder?

Shelton looks like he is just thankful we can go back to the apartment now. He is such a trooper–I love him more than anything! Life with him is like going to the fair every single day.

-Sarah

Birds On A Wire: Thanksgiving 2012

This Thanksgiving was incredibly special for me. Mom and Janie traveled all the way from Texas to visit us in North Carolina, and we had a proper family Thanksgiving dinner in Fuquay-Varina (outside of Raleigh). There were so many great memories made, and I’m reminded to be thankful every day (not just one day out of the year) for all the gifts I have been given. Here are some of my favorite shots from the past week. I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was memorable as well! -Sarah

Drifting away like the leaves in the fall…

You know you got that Deana Carter reference.

I am still learning so much about photography. Specifically, what I like, what I feel like I’m good at, and everything in between. It’s such a fun journey–one that I never expected to go on. At least not at this rate, but I am so thankful to have such an amazing tool to capture life with. And even though I am still very much an amateur, it’s a fun process.

In Texas the leaves have two colors: alive and dead. North Carolina offers a little bit more in the fall foliage department, and I wanted to capture the colors before they all disappeared. I carried my camera with me everywhere, scoping out trees while I drove to work or ran errands, but we had some overcast days that didn’t provide that wonderful warm autumn light that I desired so much. Last Thursday the conditions were perfect, and I spent about an hour walking around the ECU Recreation Complex by our apartment building. Honestly, I felt nervous, like I didn’t know what I was looking for. I am insanely critical of myself in just about every aspect of my life, but try to give myself a break when it comes to photography.

I’m still learning, I tell myself. It’s okay if the pictures look regular. 

But, I was a little surprised when I got back to the apartment and plugged in my SD card. Sometimes you just have to see things on the screen to know if it’s good or not. I’m really proud of these pictures, even though I had no expectations.

I encourage you to go take a walk and just shoot what you see, as you see it.

-Sarah

Shutter Remote Buyer Beware

I bought a remote for my camera and I am addicted to it.

kmU_IG on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

They are a lot of fun. Almost too fun.

But hey. Sometimes you just gotta have too much fun.

{ – Rocketfish Remote Wireless Shutter Control for Nikon, $19.99 at Best Buy — }

XOXO,

Sarah

Pictures I think my dad would appreciate.

My dad is a self-proclaimed dinosaur.

He self-proclaims a lot of things about himself, in fact.

Like how he was born 200 years too late.

He likes old fashioned things, is at times repelled by the technology of today, and very stubborn.

But, he’s my dad, and I love him unconditionally.

When I say unconditionally, what I mean is that I don’t mind explaining to him over and over how to attach a document to an email.

He’s just wired different than most Dads. And that’s okay with me.

Interesting tidbit: He’s a Mason of the 32nd degree.

I was probably about thirteen years old before I realized that not everyone’s Dad was a Mason and not everyone’s Mom was in Eastern Star. My childhood is filled with fuzzy memories of lodges with royal blue carpet and men in aprons.

(We came across this Masonic Temple while driving around Raleigh. I made Shelton park in a podiatrist’s parking lot so that I could take this picture in the rain.)

I think he would appreciate all the farmland in Eastern Carolina.

Side note: This is the first time I have ever seen cotton in its natural state.

As opposed to its… unnatural (?) state underneath my sink.

It feels the same to me.

~

Blog update… I am starting the painstaking process of trying to transfer my readership from my WordPress.com blog to my new blog here. If you are visiting me from my announcement on sweetsavoryblog.wordpress.com

Thank you!

It means so much to me. I hope you click around, add Sweet & Savory Life to your RSS feed, and join in on the fun. I hope to build this site into something different and extraordinary. Thank you for your support!

XOXO, Sarah

DSLR: The First 24 Hours

Quick photo post for you! Needless to say, I am LOVING this new camera!

Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos… more about these later…

The Potato.

Glamour shot!

Spuds is not feelings this shake.

Good morning!

Our block!

And it looks like autumn is on it’s way to NC…

WHOA. WTF just happened?

I got a new camera.

Sh*t. Just. Got. REAL.

I was just cooking dinner – nothing weird about that – when Shelton walks in and says, “Turn off the stove.”

But why, I thought? Then faster, Sarah don’t ask questions.

And then three beautiful words fell out of Shelton’s mouth… “Close your eyes.”

So, I did.

When I opened them this is what I saw: a brand new, completely legit, Nikon D5100.

{ Happy early birthday to me. }

I have a real camera, ladies and gentlemen.

And I just had to share with you, because it’s about to get real photography-happy up in here!

Obviously, I have no idea how to use this thing, but I assume it’ll make me coffee in the morning?

Do you have any guidance for me? Tips? Anything?

Please share your knowledge with me!

Your shutterbug,