Monday, January 31, 2011

What’s In My Bag?


I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I thought I’d give you a peek into my (GIANT) bag!


Recently, I’ve been using my fabulous Jo Totes Camera bag for everyday use (A Christmas gift from Bear). I have the Missy Grey style (sold out). It just makes it so much easier to lug around my Nikon D3000 (not pictured, but always in the bag)



1. Hand-drawn measurements for a slip cover I’m planning to make for my office chair.

2. My Vera Bradley measuring tape in Cupcakes- Green constantly comes in handy (find one here!). I once had to measure a client’s entire house of windows with this little guy after forgetting my tape measure. DOY. Good thing I had the contractors re-measure!

3. Various lipsticks and lip glosses (more on that in a minute)

4. My grocery list for this weekend (yes. typed.) {stay tuned for more about this later in the week!}

5. An extra pair of black pantyhose- because you never know when you’ll get a run in the first pair.

6. Vintage sunglasses

7. The iPhone. Of course.

8. Sweetarts. I’m addicted.


1. Lens and body caps for my Nikon

2. I’ve posted about Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure polish in Commander in Chic (370) before (here). It is my absolute go-to polish. I swear by it. Not too purple. Not too grey. Perfect.

3. Bath and Body Works anti-bacterial hand gel in Comet’s Ginger Mint

4. My stun gun (five million volt with a flashlight and a safe key)

5. Red Dirt Revival business cards

6. A pretty pretty Brighton necklace- a birthday gift from my boss last year.

7. A penny. That’s it. Just one. I’ve gotten much better at not letting change float around in this bag since I don’t’ want to damage my camera.

8. The run-down of lip products (from top to bottom): L’Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in True Red (315); Clinique’s Different Lipstick in Tenderheart; Clinique lipgloss in Bamboo Pink (21); and Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.


Last but not least,

1. My handy Coach wristlet- a Christmas gift from my boss this year.

2. and my cash and credit cards.

I hope you enjoyed this peek inside my bag. What’s in yours?



Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Makings of a Weekend: Deep Deuce with RM Edition

My, my, my… what a fantastic weekend! We had weather in the 60s and 70s! I got to spend time with my Nana who instructed me on how to reupholster my office chair (more on that later this month). It was so great to see her!

I also got to head down to the Deep Deuce area of the city and do a really fun photo shoot with Rebecca Manney of RM Photography! Mostly, I modeled, but she also let me snap a few shots of her pretty pretty face! I learned a lot- mostly that I need a new lens ASAP! But I’m really pleased with how the pictures turned out. Here are a few of my favorites:




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Little by little, I’m improving, yes? I had sooo much fun and I am obsessed with the pictures Rebecca took. I’ll share some of those later this week. They’re just gorgeous!

Have a fantastic Monday!



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier, a nanny from the 60s through the 90s, may have been one of the greatest street photographers of her time- and no one would have known if it hadn’t been for a chance purchase at an auction…

This video is so incredibly inspiring and I really can’t wait to see the documentary in it’s entirety. Thanks to RM Photography for finding this!

Happy Wednesday!



Friday, January 21, 2011

Getting Mugged

Ryan and I have a little tradition for Valentine’s Day: since we’re both big coffee and tea drinkers, we get each other a special mug! It’s a cute (and cheap) way to make the holiday special without going overboard.  Last year we got these gems:
And it’s time to start planning for Valentine’s day again! I’ve started the hunt for my V-Day Love Mug and here are some of my favorites of the vintage variety {I hope you’re reading this, Ryan!}


Virg And Ziggy's

Red Eye

Lexy Monster

A Taste For Vintage

Do Not Destroy

I think the last one is my favorite <3 Do you have any Valentine’s traditions?
xo and Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My fill of floral

This weekend I am FINALLY going to get a chance to update the Red Dirt Revival Etsy shop! I have some really great pieces to add and I can’t wait to show you!  oddly enough, I have a bunch of floral dresses to add and each one is unique and absolutely fantastic! I wish I could keep them all, but alas, I have limited closet space. I’ve been on a floral kick lately- it must be my pining for warmer weather.  This dress from Market Publique is right up my alley!

Mod Floral Dress

Sort of reminds me of this little number- one of my favorites from my personal collection


And here’s a little peak at another favorite that will be photographed this weekend and added to the shop next week!


Stay tuned…



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More excuses to show off my gorgeous family…

My sister Sarah did an AWESOME snowy Trash The Dress session with the fantastic Jessica Vaughn. I love the simplicity of the pale pink against all that gorgeous white… so romantic…

breathtaking… and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister.

Would you ever do a Trash The Dress session? I’ve always wanted to do one, but I’d want to do a session like Sarah’s- you know, a TTD that doesn’t TTD… because I like my dress. <3



Monday, January 17, 2011

The Makings of a Weekend.

Want to know how I spent my weekend?

Doing absolutely nothing. And it was glorious.

Oh, wait, I went to a photography workshop hosted by RM Photography! I did learn tons of helpful hints! I have to admit, I’m falling more and more in love with photography. Each time I learn new things it’s like opening a present! And inside the box is a great big Cadbury Egg! I love those things…

Anywho, the rest of my weekend was spent spending quality time with Bear. He even wrote me a love note on my hand during church:


Yes. He had to include Lucy.

The rest of my weekend was spent dreaming of how I plan to spruce up my new office space.


Yeah. I have an office now.  After a year of staring at the glorious grey fabric walls of a cubicle, I have been allowed to move into my very own office space. It even has a window. I am super excited and very appreciative!

So guess what’s up next? If you said office inspiration posts, you’re exactly right!

Stay tuned.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby Shepherd Update

On December 22, I shared with you that my nephew, Shepherd, had been born nearly two months early. Since that time I have received a few emails asking how he is doing, so I thought I would give you a quick update!

Shep has been making slow and steady progress! He’s gaining weight and getting closer to coming home every day. He’s still got a long way to go before he can be home with my brother and his wife, but we’re all praying for his strength and growth and I know he’ll be home before we know it!

Thanks for all your support, concern, and prayers! You guys are truly the best.

And now, I hope you all have your last will and testament written up, because you’re about to die of cuteness… CUE SHEP MONTAGE!166556_854065708482_17104170_43661855_8004507_n


This kid is gonna be varsity in no time!

p.s. more baby cuteness is on the way. I had another nephew, Asher, born on January 6th and he’s oh soooo cute and chubby!!



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Talents: Acquired.

After Baby Shepherd came into the world, I wanted him to have something very special from his Aunt Chels, so over the holidays, my wonderful mother in-law taught me to crochet! (yep, my sister in-law taught me photography and my mother in-law taught me to crochet. It’s a talented family, I tell ya!)

Surprisingly, I picked it up very quickly and finished Shep’s blanket in no time! But in true Chelsea fashion, I didn’t make it to the post office to send it off until this past weekend! But now it’s on it’s way to keep little Shep warm!


Halfway to the weekend, kids. Hang in there!



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Part Three: Be Kinder to Myself and Others


a.    Eat healthier Coming from the southern Midwest, it’s strange for me to think of eating healthier as being good to myself. We usually like to treat ourselves with things drowned in sugar and butter and deep-fried with lots of love.  But changing that mindset is really important.  Our bodies need certain nutrients in order to function properly. I really don’t think those chocolate covered toasted coconut butter balls are giving me enough vitamins to give me a healthy digestive system, clear skin, and a good night’s sleep.  A friend from high school has recently started a blog that I really really LOVE. She’s going through her own weigh-down right now and sharing her experiences every step of the way. It keeps me inspired to stay on track!

b.    Primp more. Here’s something you might not know about me: I don’t primp a whole lot. I like to get my day started as soon as possible. My daily hair and make-up routine takes me about twenty minutes from start to finish, and that has served me pretty well. But sometimes that means I neglect to get my hair cut, or eyebrows or nails done for several weeks.  I end up feeling kind of disheveled.  So here’s to lotioning, deep conditioning, painting, powdering, plucking, and pampering myself a little this year! First step? I think a bubble bath is in order.

c.    Make an appointment. I’m horrible at accomplishing tasks that require me to set an appointment. Ironic, yes? Appointments that will be set in the new year: doctor, dentist, hair, massage, dates. This is gonna be a good year!

d.    Be less critical of myself and/ or others. My husband tells me at least once a week that I’m being too hard on myself. He’s probably right. All I can do is my best, and that’s all I can expect from others as well.

e.    Practice patience and have a servant’s heart In the Bible, we are charged to be servants in everything that we do.  I forget that sometimes. But think of all the things you could accomplish if you approached it humbly and enthusiastically! A difficult feat, for sure, but something I’m definitely going to try to accomplish!

That wraps up my New Year’s resolutions! I hope it has inspired you to make some important changes of your own. And now, I’m off to pamper myself!



Monday, January 10, 2011

The Makings of a Weekend

Hello hello! How was your weekend? We got a tiiiiny bit of snow, but it wouldn’t stick! Oh well, I’m sure there’s plenty on the way! This weekend, we celebrated Ryan’s birthday with some delicious brownie cake, presents, and special dinner!


Yeah, those brownies are already long gone. And they were delicious! I’ll be back tomorrow with Part Three of my New Year’s Resolutions! {see parts one and two}

Have a lovely Monday!



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday! I love you more…

Happy Birthday, sweet husband! I have to take this opportunity to say, I love you more. I know you don’t think it’s true, but it is!

I love you more than all the times you let me watch Ghost Hunters instead of Fox News.

I love you more than all the brownies, frozen yogurt, and Braum’s ice cream we’ve devoured together.

I love you more than the endless number of days you spent in Iraq.

I love you more than all the love letters you sent home during that time.

I love you more than all the times you’ve taken Lucy the Wonder Dog out in the cold.

I love you more than the time it takes to listen to my weird dreams every morning.

I love you more than the number of times you’ve had to fill up my car with gas.

I love you more than the miles we drove or flew to see each other when we were first dating.

I love you more and more the longer I’m with you and the more I get to know you.

I love you more than Ninja loves Zef.

I love you more than all the words that John Daker forgot.

I love you more than the number of times I forgot to do your laundry.

I love you more than the number of times I refused to rub your back.

I love you more than all the times you talked me into it anyway!

I love you more than all the words we’ve spoken- in passing…in anger…in passion….in silliness… but always in love.

I love you more than all the fruit snacks we’ve consumed.

I love you more than split peeeeeeeeaaa soup!

I love you more than Lucy does (okay, maybe it’s pretty even…)

I love you more than all the times you’ve held me when I cried.

I love you more with every kiss.

I love you more than all those points I scored against you in Words With Friends (it’s your move, by the way)

I love you more than Don Draper loves cigarettes, booze, and women.

I love you more than all the times you’ve told me, “No. We don’t need another chair.”

I love you more than I love Joseph Gordon Levitt with a firearm.

I love you more than I love delis.

I love you more than all the mountains we’ve hiked, sunsets we’ve watched, road trips we’ve taken, laughter we’ve shared, kisses we’ve given- more than I ever though possible, and more than I’ll ever be able to express here.

God has blessed me with a man for whom my love grows day by day and with every passing hour. I love the way you love me, too- with tenderness, with patience, with silliness, with passion… but I have to say… I love you more.


Your Beloved

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Part Two: Learn More Photgraphy

I recently mentioned that I’m working towards becoming a photographer. (it’s kind of weird to say that out loud). I’m learning slowly, and I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made, but I definitely need more practice. Here’s my plan:

a.    Take more classes I’ve taken a few online courses that have been really helpful, but I’d like to take some courses that are more application-driven- more hands-on. I really feel like that’s the only way to truly pick up on something. I’m planning to take this course offered by the wonderful and hilarious Miss Rebecca Manney

b.    Read more photography blogs I read plenty of blogs with great photography, but I don’t follow many blogs that are solely about photography. A few that I enjoy are here, here, and here. Following these sorts of blogs can be incredibly inspirational and I can’t wait to find a few more that I love! Any suggestions?

c.    Trip to Indy to shadow Sarah I mentioned that my sister is an amazing photographer, right? Well, she’s also super hilarious and fun AAAAND willing to help me learn the ropes! I know. I lucked out with this family, I’m telling you. I plan to use some vacation time to go up and follow her around like a puppy for about a week so that she can teach me her ways.  I seriously can’t wait!

d.    Offer free sessions to friends and family This one terrifies me. It’s one thing to take a picture of an inanimate object (four thousand times before you finally get it right). But its’ an entirely different ballgame to have a live model sitting in front of you that you have to direct (or not, if you get lucky!) and catch in the correct light. PLUS, you then have to try your hardest to not be overly critical about the work that you’ve done when you hand it over to your “client” because after all, you’re just starting out. They probably knew that going into this, but what if they hate them anyway? And then what if that makes them hate ME?! (panic attack) see what I mean? Terrifying. But I’m just going to have to swallow my pride…}} {{p.s. want to see more photography by Red Dirt Revival? Visit my flickr!}}

So there you have it. My road map to becoming a photographer. Baby steps, folks <3



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Part One: Organize My Life

Here’s my plan of action for getting my house- and my life- in ship shape!
a.    Purge, purge, purge! It’s very important to begin with this step.  It’s so much easier to focus when your surroundings are and your life is uncluttered.  Look around you, and look within.  Are there things that you could live without? We’ve already begun a LARGE donation pile in our guest room.  Clothing, décor items, furniture, unused paper items, shoes, accessories, tools, you name it- it’s in that pile.  We do this about every six months. I’m always surprised when I end up throwing out something that I was so adamant about keeping only a few months ago!  But really. Do I need another green glass bottle? No. Or three tan purses? *sigh* No, I guess not… and what about that skirt that I bought just one size too small to encourage myself to lose weight so that I could wear it. Do I need that? Um, I’m gonna say no. Into the pile they go.
Okay, the dog stays… <3
Other things to go? Habits.  Like my soda habit that I’ve somehow developed. I don’t even LIKE all that sugar! And my afternoon tv habit? Forget it. I’m much more productive without it! (Okay maybe not completely without it. Glee is very important!).  Once the shelves are empty, it’s much easier to get the rest of my “for keeps” piles into order.

b.    Have the right tools This might seem obvious, but I really think this is something people don’t realize. It’s VERY hard to be organized without the proper tools.  What are those tools? Buckets, baskets, bins, bowls, and hooks! Here are a few items I’ll be picking up to help me on my mission
Shoe racks/ slots You guys would be totally shocked if you saw the state in which I keep my shoes… in fact, you probably wouldn’t believe it. It’s pretty close to accessory abuse. I’ll be sure to post before and afters once the closet is all cleaned up.  I’m definitely going to need a shoe organizer of some kind!
Boxes for stashing papers and magazines I have an impressive collection of magazines. I’m pretty good about throwing away any ‘zines that I won’t use in the future, but that still leaves me with TONS of home décor rags.  Handy slots like these will make hiding my magazine habit much easier!

Bins for organizing décor items We have a closet in our hallway that we use solely for small décor items that are out of season or simply not being used at the moment. Currently, the shelves are in a state of disarray. I’d like to have some plastic bins to wrangle the clutter.
Basket/ tray for mail Our mail ends up everywhere. Our mailbox is by the front door, but we enter the house through the garage, so there’s no telling where the mail will be dropped between the mailbox and the garage door! Having a designated spot to drop things as soon as we walk in the door will help keep us organized- and magically help us remember to pay those bills!

c.    Discriminative shopping So now that you know how to get rid of clutter, and organize the items you want to keep, how to stay organized? Discriminative shopping! There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to look at herself in that three-way full-length mirror and say, “I really don’t need another pair of jeans/ little black dress/ pair of heels/ vase/ vinyl wall decal/ candle/ v-neck sweater/ Ed Hardy t-shirt.” (in fact, just go ahead and get rid of any Ed Hardy t-shirts you may already have. No one needs any of those…) When you’re out shopping- for anything- ask yourself this question: Do I love it? And then ask yourself another question, “Okay, but do I LOVE it?” And finally, ask yourself, “But do I really looooooove it?” you’ll be surprised at how many times you catch yourself feeling just mediocre about a purchase.

So that’s the plan. Let’s see how well I stick to it!
What are your resolutions?!

Resolutions in Three Parts!

I have some exciting resolutions for this year! Just three “serious” resolutions, and a ton of “just for fun resolutions”.

Part one of my New Year’s Resolutions will post later today! Swing by and take a peek!

new year new you pic