Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Haskins | Family Photography

I met Chris and his wife Kim when they made the move from California to Austin to serve in the high school ministry at my church. Not long after they arrived, they added two precious kiddos to their family, and we spent one Sunday afternoon at their neighborhood park to capture all the family fun. 

Believe it or not, this coming August will mark THREE years since I took these photos. I know parents always feel like their babies grow up too fast, but even I'm like "whaaaaaat? Where did the time GO?!" I can't believe Cade is celebrating his 5th birthday this summer and Ryan will be 4-years-old in the fall.

Haskins, I love you guys. Thanks for letting me capture these memories!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Will you marry me?

{Our hearts are heavy as we process the tragic events that have taken place this week. Continually praying for the people of Boston, and now the town of West, Texas. Times like this remind us all of how precious life is. Hug your loved ones a little tighter, friends!}

Two years ago last night, my sweet Thomas asked me to marry him {link to video of the proposal}. Reflecting on the happiness of April 17, 2011 today!

Monday, April 15, 2013

That One Time the Reeds Decided to Do a Juice Cleanse

Key word: the ONE time. There won't be another.

Last week, Thomas and I completed a 3-day juice cleanse. Well... a 2.83-day juice cleanse. More on that later.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we only drank our meals, six juices every day. It was a challenge, I tell ya!!

We've been on Weight Watchers and experienced great results since starting back in early 2012. But post-wedding, I gained a little more weight back than I would have hoped. What can I say? We're foodies.

When I heard a radio commercial for the Skinny Limits juice cleanse, I thought it would be a great way to kick start a healthy way of life, rather than yo-yo dieting. And if I lost a few L-bees in the process, that would be cool too. I looked into it and they had amazing reviews on their website/Yelp, so I was pretty excited about giving it a try.

I thought convincing Thomas to do it with me would be a challenge...

"Babe, what would you think about maaaaaybe doing a juice cleanse?" *holding breath, because heaven knows I'm not doing it alone*

*smiles* "I think it could be kinda cool. I've actually been wanting to do one!"

Well, that was easy!

We ordered the juices straight from their website and Thomas picked them up on Monday afternoon {they also ship nationwide}. They took up half of our fridge! That was one huge plus to paying for this juice program. We don't own a juicer {those can be pricey} and I imagine that making six juices a day could get messy and time consuming.

Here's the breakdown of what we ingested last week:
  1. Juice #1, 3 and 5 - kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, apple, and lemon {only wish I could have tasted more of the apple, tasted like drinking a salad}
  2. Juice #2, "Balance" - same as above, with ginger added {blechhh, our least favorite}
  3. Juice #4, "Scorpion Lemonade" - lemons, agave nectar, cayenne and filtered water {refreshing lemonade, a nice break from your greens, can't really taste the cayenne pepper, it just makes your tongue tingle a bit}
  4. Juice #6, "Crescent Moon" - raw cashews, vanilla bean, coconut oil, cinnamon, agave nectar, Himalayan sea salt and filtered water {the bombdotcom!}
  5. Lots and LOTS of H20. Gotta get those toxins out of your body, or else you're going to feel pretty sick. I also had several mugs of hot decaf tea every day.
Day One was reaaaaally hard. By the time we got off work, Thomas and I were very grumpy, had headaches, and just wanted to eat REAL FOOD. We each took detox baths that night {lots of epsom salt and hot water} which helped us to feel better from the symptoms of detoxing. And we may have broke down a little and had two carrot sticks each, just to feel like we were chewing something. They recommend not eating solid food because it slows down the detox process, but to eat raw fruits and veggies if you absolutely have to eat. I will say, the "dessert" juice makes everything worth it! It's HEAVENLY.

Day Two was a lot easier. That morning, we just kept thinking, "we're almost halfway done." By the end of the day: "just one more day!" Though it was an easier day overall, the green juices became more and more difficult to drink - heck, you drink FOUR of them a day! I never really enjoyed drinking them even on day one, but on day two, they kind of made me gag. Definitely had to hold my breath so I couldn't really taste it as I sipped it quickly through a straw. We lived for that yummy cashew milk before bed, that's for sure!

Day Three was probably the easiest, at least for the first three-fourths of the day. It felt so good to have two days behind us! We were looking forward to the weekend even more than usual because we knew what tasty food awaited us. But y'all, those "greens," the thought of them, the smell of them, everything about them made me want to yak. And that's exactly why when I started to feel nauseous and shaky after work, Thomas and I looked at each other and said "let's eaaaaaat!" Instead of our final green juice, we made a quick trip to the grocery store and made lean baked chicken with steamed green beans for dinner. There was much rejoicing. But yes, we did have our last "Crescent Moon," which is how we calculated our 2.83-day accomplishment, by completing five sixths of day three.

When I posted the above photo to Instagram last Monday night, many of you commented, "let me know how it is, I've been wanting to try one!"

My advice?

Do it.

I know that may seem silly after reading of our cleansing woes. But it was something we're definitely glad we did!

We feel like accomplished, healthier people. We challenged ourselves to do something really, really difficult and succeeded. We're more aware of when we're truly hungry, and when we just feel the need to eat {boredom, habit, social settings, etc}. I think our stomachs even shrank a bit! And, drumroll please... we both lost FOUR POUNDS! 

Thomas and I love to eat, to try new recipes and visit new restaurants, but after this juice cleanse I think we view food a bit differently. Next time we decide to "cleanse," however, we may just stick to a raw diet for several days, but still allow ourselves the luxury of solid food.

I'd maybe suggest stopping by Skinny Limits before you start a program so you can taste the green juices and see what you think. If you love a challenge, maybe you want to try the six- or nine-day juice cleanse. I think it's something everyone should try, even if just once in your life {hey, we're in that club. Always open to new members!}. We couldn't have done it any longer than three days!

Skinny Limits, thanks for the experience! We'll probably be back just for the Crescent Moon drink as a treat on a hot summer day, and hope to come try some of your other menu {read: FOOD} options soon.

If you have general questions about juice cleansing, check out Skinny Limit's FAQ page. They're the experts. As for our personal juicing experience - ask away!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Madison Olivia | Newborn Photography

One of my passions and hobbies is photography, ever since my dad put a Nikon D50 DLSR camera in my hands {which I regrettingly left on a train in Paris, but that's another story}.

After he passed down his camera to me, I took a few photography classes at Baylor, started developing a portfolio, and took thousands of photos during my semester studying abroad in Europe. My hope is to one day launch a full-fledged photography business {fingers crossed!}, but for now I'm just enjoying a few photo jobs here and there with family and friends.  

I don't share my work often enough, so I thought I'd post some of my most favorite photos to my blog, starting with this baby girl. 

Madison Olivia is my cousin's daughter, born in Austin on the evening of December 31st, 2012. Matt and Megan, thank you for letting my photograph sweet Maddie!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Time to Party!

One of the many reasons we loved ACC for our reception - photos on the golf course with the iconic Pennybacker Bridge in the background.

When Thomas and I arrived at Austin Country Club for our reception, we were so ready to hug our friends and family, devour the food we'd picked out at the tasting months earlier, and dance the afternoon away. That's when our day-of coordinator {we love you Kristi!} delicately delivered the unfortunate news that the country club was without electricity.

Say whaaaaaat?

It was one of those moments you try to prepare yourself for as a bride - something going wrong. You can plan everything out as perfectly as you can, but you fear the 'what ifs.' I thought I'd panic if anything happened that was NOT in our plans, but you know what? In the moment, I was completely relaxed.

So maybe we couldn't have the sugar-rimmed frozen pink lemonade as planned. And maybe it was a Texas summer with no AC indoors. But you know what? It didn't matter. I was a married lady! And electricity or not, it was time to party. 

I'm so grateful that a) the storm earlier in the day dropped the temperatures outside so it was only a little warm and stuffy inside, b) that it was an afternoon wedding so we had plenty of natural light, and c) that my coordinator and the country club put out so many candles that the reception hall was so dreamy and romantic looking! Some of our guests said they didn't even notice the power was out. And praise the good Lord above, the power kicked back on an hour after we arrived. 

"life is sweet" jars of honey for guest favors // mr. & mrs. forks, a "something borrowed" from my sister-in-law Clara
flowers and table decor by LisaLyn Designs
food from the "groom's station," chicken, mashed potatoes and a biscuit // shirley temple instead of frozen lemonade
first dance to Hunter Hayes' Wanted // father-daughter dance to Butterfly Kisses // mother-son dance to Rascal Flatts' My Wish
being prayed over by the gentleman of Phi Kappa Chi // listening to my dad's sweet toast // cracking up when my sister Sarah took an unfortunate, completely unintentional pause to wipe her nose when saying "I always imagined Amanda with an amazing man, and then she met Thomas..."
red velvet cake, vanilla cupcakes, and GREEN velvet Baylor cake by Sugar Mama's Bakeshop // and what's a Baylor cake cutting without the singing of That Good Old Baylor Line
[SIDE NOTE: Sugar Mama's will be on this Sunday night's episode of Cupcake Wars on Food Network!! Tune in April 7 at 7:00 central to see Olivia work her magic.]

Well brides, it's true. Before you know it, the reception is over and you're running out the door to start your new life together. Cherish every moment and every little memory of your day. It goes by so quickly!

All photos by Taylor Lord Photography.

Looking back: