Monday, December 28, 2015

Wedding Photography

 I bet you thought I was all done writing about Oregon.  Or maybe you thought I was done on here completely after this somewhat unintentional two-month long hiatus.  But no, I'm back, and back with more about way back when I lived in Oregon.

I'm going to a wedding this Friday, and it's got me thinking about the last time I was at a wedding.  I wasn't a guest that time, but the second shooter!  It took a while for me to get the pictures back from the main photographer, mainly due to forgetfulness/laziness on my part.  She sent me the edited ones just before I moved to Philadelphia (sadly we couldn't meet in person and I never got to get the full set of RAW photos that I shot, so all of these were edited by her).

I was really nervous the day of, especially because I had worked all night the night before (as per my usual morning show schedule) and was only able to get in a small nap before I drove about two hours to the venue near Portland.  It was also my first time shooting semi-professionally, and shooting when it counted.  Most of my photography was (and still is) for fun, generally involving just involving inanimate objects or cats/friends as subjects.  Nothing I ever had to shoot in real time with people counting on me! I think I would've been more nervous if it hadn't been for my broadcast training; even if I'd never done still photography on an event, I've captured video in real time with no chance for do-overs.

The one in charge, Ariana of Blush Pink Photography, obviously took the lead, getting all the photos at the front of the alter, while I got the back and then quickly moved upstairs to use the balcony for a different angle.  After, we photographed the couple/bridal party, then headed to the reception.  Here are my favorites that I took:

(disclaimer: Blogger seems to somewhat change the quality and therefore look of the photographs)

It was a great learning experience overall, especially in terms of my equipment and what I would want/need to shoot a wedding or similar event again.  It also made me really appreciate professional photographers who do this on a daily basis, because it's not an easy job.  You have to be everywhere at once, and yet out of sight, because your work is what will keep the memories alive for a couple for years to come: you don't want to disappoint!

Friday, November 6, 2015

In the Kitchen

Time for another look at what I've been up to in the kitchen! I'm continuing to learn how easy it is to eat gluten free (although don't get me wrong, I still have my bread full of gluten all the time, and pasta whenever it's just me eating). I'm pretty sure I've tried out more recipes in the almost month I've been here than in the past year!

Somewhat surprisingly, most things have been a hit! So I've been doing what I like to do after I made a recipe I want to eat over and over again: I transfer it by hand to my own cookbook! *gasp* I know, so old fashioned, right? But it's so much easier than trying to go find "that pin from that one time" on an extensive Pinterest board.  The practice has saved me a bunch of time every time I go to double check the temperature for to bake spaghetti squash.

On the menu most recently:

Cheesy Rice, Broccoli, and Chicken
- Very delicious, my first one pot dish (Pinterest shows me those are all the rage).  But not be fooled: just because it all cooks in one pot doesn't mean there isn't a lot of clean up.  There's a lot of prep that involved numerous cutting boards and surfaces.  Made enough for about two night's worth of dinners for two people.

Caprese Chicken (below, on left)
-The only time I really eat tomatoes is in caprese salads,  so I figured a chicken version would be delicious and I was right! Fresh basil is my favorite.  The only downside was how thick the chicken was, so it took a lot longer to cook than the recipe said.  I think I'll use thinly cut breast next time for that reason, and because then there will be a tastier ratio of chicken to toppings in each bite.

Baked Garlic Tilapia (below, on right)
- This is the recipe that surprised me the most.  I've never cooked fish before, (except pre-breaded from the frozen section) but I was getting tired of the usual chicken and beef. This recipe is super quick and easy.  Most of what I've been trying wouldn't be that doable on the fly after coming home from work, but this definitely is.  If you do the four fillets the recipe calls for, it easily makes enough leftovers for another night if you make sides to go with it.

Of course, I'm doing some gluten-filled cooking as well.  Last night I made myself an amazing pizza with the leftovers from the caprese chicken.  Oh how I love fresh basil and mozzarella.  This pizza crust recipe has been in my cookbook for quite a while now!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gluten free pie

"Besides apply for jobs, what is it that Carolyn gets up to in Philadelphia?", you may be wondering.  It's a little too much Netflix, not enough scrapbooking (need my photo order to arrive!), and a pretty good amount of cooking.

One little hitch with moving in with my boyfriend is that he is gluten intolerant.  This is bad because it makes figuring out dinners a little bit harder (bread is one of my favorite food groups next to bacon). It's good though because in Oregon I was kind of just making the same recipes over and over, so now I'm trying out new ones, and because it makes it impossible for him to steal my gluten-filled snacks.

So far, gluten free cooking has basically just been avoiding recipes that involve flour.  It's very easy to substitute gluten free noodles in a lasagna recipe and to avoid having bread as a side dish.  Baking though... that's a whole other story. I took the plunge into my first gluten free baking experience on Monday, and I'm happy to say it turned out really well!

I had to put those apples we picked to good use, didn't I?

One thing that made making the gluten free pie crust a little easier was that I've actually never made a pie crust from scratch, so it was all new to me, not just the gluten free part.  I was nervous, worried that I would roll it too thin or thick, or not be able to transfer it to the pie pan, but it all worked out pretty well! Most importantly, it tasted delicious :)

If anyone is interested, the recipe I used for the crust can be found here, and the pie filling is from here (with my gluten free flour substituted in, I think I used Betty Crocker all-purpose gluten free flour).

We ate it with a little ice cream on top, and it was a hit! Even with Neville, who keeps trying to break into our cabinet to try a bite.  He was very curious during the process (I think he wanted those cinnamon covered apples) but then napped while it was in the oven.  Evidence:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Getting back into it

I'm trying to make sure my unemployed self isn't just "eating bon-bons" all day, so I've been giving myself some activities to do besides working on settling the apartment and searching for jobs.  Yesterday, I ran for the first time in basically a billion years. Okay, maybe it was just a few months, but it definitely felt like that long. I'm very sore now.

It was surprisingly warm both yesterday and today so that made dragging myself out the door easier.  It's also nice that from my doorstep, I have a ton of different options of where I can run.  It can be in my neighborhood, I could aim myself downtown (although I don't run that far so I wouldn't get too deep into it), or down the Schuylkill River and historic Boat House Row.  The last one is a very scenic run and will probably become my usual route ... if I'm able to get myself to keep running, that is.  Winter is coming, and I tend to hibernate.

Something else I've been engaging in once again: scrapbooking! I put of that and crafts of any kind while I prepared for my move because I didn't want to have any more supplies or items to haul across the country. Now it's time to start it all up again.  I have some things to repaint to fit the decor here, and I'm slowly accumulating more photos to scrapbook.

For those of you who don't know, my scrapbook was centered on the visits Brian and I were taking to Oregon and Pennsylvania.  Now that we live together, I've decided to do things on a month-by-month basis.  That way, I can just put in various snaps that happen throughout the months into cohesive pages instead of being super specific about a trip.  I'm very excited to be able to scrapbook more often than every few months! My brand new Ikea desk is already on the way to being organized with a scrapbooking focus.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Apple Picking

Fall is definitely one of the best seasons because of all the activities. Sure there are winter activities but they are generally freezing, I don't garden for the spring, summer has some fun things but it generally includes worrying that you might have a wardrobe malfunction in your bathing suit.

I also just might like fall because I am a white girl, and if the Internet is right, liking fall is just in our DNA. But I  have never had a pumpkin spice latte so maybe that makes me special?

Anyway, this weekend I did the best fall activity of all, which you probably guessed from the title of this post: apple picking.

It was a nice excuse to take a break from unpacking my boxes and settling our apartment.

Brian and I went to Linvilla Orchards outside of Philadelphia. We got a bunch of apples, and I plan on making some into an apple pie later this week.  I also got to eat my favorite fall foods at Linvilla: apple cider donuts and hot apple cider! Yum.

  There was also an area to select pumpkins. We picked some good ones to display next to our front door! Luckily we live kind of around the corner and down a little driveway from the main road, so I hope we don't get any pumpkin smashers. I don't think I'm going to carve the pumpkins, but I might open them up in a bit to make some roasted pumpkin seeds.

I forgot how much I love fall in a city.   There are always leaves crunching on the sidewalks and fall sun makes all the brick row homes look extra pretty.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Part of my recent job search has involved updating my website. Since I'm focusing my search more on public relations jobs, I tailored my website a little more towards that, and less towards the news business.

I used to have my producing and news editing reels right on the homepage, but I moved those in favor of a bio.  I also made a new social media section.  It shows my professional use of social media (because who really wants to see how many cat videos on share on my personal Facebook?).

It was definitely not fun scrolling through endless pages of KEZI's Facebook and Twitter to find examples of things I posted.  Believe me, Facebook is lying when it says you can selected "all stories" instead of just "highlights" for Facebook pages.   Many of my posts didn't show up as I scrolled and scrolled through the page, but thankfully I remembered some of my most liked and shared posts (who doesn't like a good missing wallaby in Oregon story?) and was able to screenshot them for the page.

So take a look at my website and let me know what you think! Or, let me know if you want to hire me for anything plllleeeeaase.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


We're here! I arrived in Philadelphia about nine hours later than I was expecting thanks to a maintenance issue on my first flight out of Eugene.  I was supposed to leave at 5:40 a.m., but didn't actually depart until after 9 a.m., missing my original flight out of Denver.  Not a fun time for me, but it was of course even worse for little Neville, who didn't really understand what was going on, or why he was stuck in a little carrier for 15 hours.  He was a trooper though: didn't meow, didn't go to the bathroom all over the place, didn't bother anyone.

It was nice to have a long weekend right after my arrival (although when you don't have a job, every day is basically a long, boring weekend).  We were able to run errands and grocery shop Saturday, spent all day Sunday in New Jersey where Brian's nephew was baptized and a party followed.  Yesterday consisted of more errands (finally got my apartment key!), a sandwich run at the tastiest place ever, and helping Brian grade quizzes.

My car is supposed to come this evening, which is exciting. One step closer to being fully moved in, I'll just need my packing unit and all my stuff will finally be here.

Now I just need a job... anyone want to hire me?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

UCC Shooting: A Reflection

My last day of work at KEZI was nearly a week ago, last Friday. On Sunday, the morning show crew and a few other evening folk gathered for a fun breakfast in downtown Eugene to say goodbye to me, and the morning show editor Michelle.

But the days leading up to that were far from fun for the newsroom.  I ended work on Thursday anticipating a fun, easy day of work on Friday.  Our morning show reporter was going to have his first package on the show, a fun story about a haunted maze in the area.  My replacement was doing a great job producing, and I expected to have little to do on Friday.

Later Thursday morning, I returned home from the laundromat and got on to social media while snacking as usual.  And there it was on Facebook: "Report of a gunman at Umpqua Community College". UCC is about an hour south of me, in our viewing area.  I quickly move to Twitter, to see our sister station in Portland posting that at least 10 dead. And my vision of an easy work day the following day is gone.

Friday was for me the hardest work day yet.  I think the majority of journalists never have their major local story also be the biggest national story of the day. The majority of journalists never have to cover a mass shooting.  We were tasked with compiling all the information: the story, the reaction, the heartbreak, the president speaking out.  And while I look back on my hard Friday, of throwing out our usual morning show template and trying to squeeze in the whole story, a live report, and a live interview, I can't even imagine what it was like in the newsroom on Thursday. It was basically wall to wall coverage.  From what I've seen, our reporters did amazing work, both Thursday and the days that followed.  My friend Sarah did an amazing live interview with the Douglas County Sheriff at 5:45 a.m. Friday morning, running on just a few hours of sleep. Our typical morning show reporter, Oscar, did a fabulous job covering a live press conference at the top of the 6 a.m. show, also on hardly any sleep, and just a few weeks into his first reporting job.

I thought my last day at my first job would be one I'd never forget simply because it was my last day, but now I'll always have an even deeper memory of it.  Overall, I had a great learning experience at KEZI, and nothing more so than that final day.  It's been strange to see the rest of the coverage of the UCC shooting unfold without being part of it, but I am proud of the work I did to cover the story, and the work KEZI and the rest of these small market Oregon stations will continue to do. 

Monday, September 28, 2015


This is the sorry state of my apartment right now. Walls bare, boxes and other kinds of half packed/half sorted stuff strewn across the floor.  I'm currently sitting right next to that teal plastic carton on the left, with some hand sewn mini pillows and folded up blankets as a "couch" (I was finally able to sell my futon over the weekend, but now I have nowhere comfortable to sit!).

I wish I could say it's bittersweet to be packing up my apartment, but I'd be lying. Yes, it was my first apartment, but my memories here tend to consist of me groggily going to the bathroom in the middle of the "night" and seeing that it's still broad daylight outside.  Of course, I did make some very delicious food and some pretty cool projects, but those can be done elsewhere. And my little apartment buddy will be coming with me to my next place.

Speaking of, he's thankfully been getting used to what will be his home for my trip back to Philadelphia.

He seems to like it, but it'll be put to the real test once we go to the vet in about twenty minutes and he realizes it's more than just a hang out spot.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Well you may have noticed (probably because I sent an email about it to my regular readers, aka my family!) but my blog name and URL have changed! That's because I'm about to leave the Emerald City area.  My blog name was no longer appropriate, so I figured I'd change it to something that could be relevant everywhere and anywhere I may live.  The name, for anyone wondering, is pulled from my favorite chapter in one of my favorite books, Little Women.

In about three weeks, I will be relocating to Philadelphia! Though daunting, I'm excited to pack up my life and hop on a plane back to the east coast for good.  Neville has not yet noticed what's going on, but hopefully my little Oregonian will enjoy the other side of the country. He's going to have more windows to peer out of and a set of stairs to run up and down in my new apartment, so once he's over the trauma of flying I think he'll have a good time.

I'll continue to document what's going on in my life on this blog for anyone who is interested. I'm hoping that since I'll enjoy life more out there, I'll be more inspired to talk about what I'm up to.  I'm also going to try to make it my goal to take more pictures on a regular basis so I have something to look back on (and things to fill up my scrapbook with!).

So stay tuned for more to come as I journey back east! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wildlife Safari

Well I haven't posted in about two months... oops. And a busy two months it's been! Had a friend visit, I went on a trip to Washington, D.C./Philadelphia/New Jersey, and then my parents came for a bit.  Instead of trying to catch up ... here are some photos from my most recent fu outing. Wildlife Safari in Roseburg, Oregon.

 I never expected a place to be like this in Oregon, but it is.  There's a part that's more like a zoo (as you can see from adorable cheetah cub, Pancake, above) but then the rest is a drive through safari!  So many animals, all up close and personal.

 I left the car window open a little bit to get some pictures, but rolled them up when the animals were getting close.  The most dangerous, like bears, lions, tigers (oh my!) were all behind cages so we they couldn't get near the cars.  The rest were all roaming around, as you can see in one of the pictures I took through the front windshield. It was a bit of a drive from the Eugene/Springfield area, but so worth it.  I even got to ride a camel! Although I didn't think ahead to get transfer a picture from my phone to this blog post, whoops.

Anyway, the safari was probably one of the coolest things I've gotten to do in Oregon.  It's pretty much this plus see Allyson Felix run (twice!), have Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton kick off a 5k I ran, and meet Nick Symmonds at a race he was putting on.  In other words... the coolest thing I've done that didn't involved track. Thanks to my parents for coming with me!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


This is probably the recent project I'm most proud of because it took a very long time and was something brand new.  I made a mosaic on top of a wooden box!

First of course, I painted the inside and outside, quite a few coats each.

Then came the fun part: deciding on a design.  I was originally going to go the easy route and just do alternating colors with the mixed bag of tiles I had, or maybe just kind of put them on in a random order.  But then my boyfriend suggested making a Greek inspired pattern (we took an ancient Greece/Rome archeology class together once and talked a lot about mosaics) so I decided to run with that.

I found some inspiration, mapped out the squares I had room for, then went to work!  It took a few tries until I had what I was looking for.

 Then I picked the colors and made sure I had enough tiles.  I was glad I did this step because I found out I didn't have the right amounts of certain colors and this would not have been good to realize partway through the super gluing process!

Then I glued them all down, and finally filled in the grout.  It took a few days to get it all done, I did about a third at at time, then had to add a final layer on top, and then do the edges.  The grout was a little dusty when it dried, so I sealed the whole thing with mod podge so it wouldn't flake anywhere.

Now it's sitting on my bookshelf with absolutely nothing inside.  Maybe I'll eventually put something in it, but the pretty top makes it just a nice decoration.  I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone for this, I think it would be good for me to tackle slightly scarier projects again (scary because I'm afraid of messing up).

I still have lots of little tiles left ... anyone need anything mosaic'ed? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Paper Crafting

Today's project post: recent crafts I made out of paper! And today I'm not procrastinating cleaning, I already wiped down my fridge shelves, reorganized my food cabinets, and vacuumed the futon cushion!

This first one I'm very proud of for some reason.  I think it just ended up looking a lot more professional than I expected once it was put behind glass in a frame and hung up.

This is now hanging above my table in my "entry way" (really just part of the living room but next to the door). I'd had another teapot and teacup artwork there, but it was kind of slapped together to fill this empty frame I had hung up.

For this project, I printed out a teapot at the desired size (shoutout to that librarian who gave me the print job for free for no reason!).  Then I cut strips out of some scrapbook paper scraps, figured out a layout of the different colors and patterns, and glued it all down! I tend to have mostly straight blue shades on my walls so it's nice to break it up with the different prints and some pops of yellow.

Second up:
My lovely idea notebook.  Because you can't "pin" an idea that just pops into your head! I realized since I'm not in school anymore, I don't just really have things to write on laying around.  I have some paper for grocery lists, but this keeps everything compacted in one place to flip through until I find the next project I want to start. It's also helpful for mapping things out, as you'll see in my upcoming post!

This is made up of washi tape and scrapbook paper.  The green basket pattern part on the left is actually stripped washi tape woven together.  It took me quite a while but I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I glued all the paper parts on, then sealed it all with mod podge to make it a little more durable.