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  • 29 oct, 2014: Farm to 425

    Hey, y'all!

    I recently shot a story for 425 Business about farm to table restaurants on the Eastside. I'm working on some web edits for our website now, but here's a little sneak peek.

    I hung out with the Homegrown Restaurant co-founders Ben Friedman and Brad Gillis at their farm in Redmond, Washington and again at their Redmond restaurant, where they showed me how they use their locally grown produce in their delicious sandwiches.

    More coming soon!

  • 21 october, 2014: surrounded by water

    On this gloomy Northwest day, I'm looking back at photos from my whale watching cruise story for South Sound and 425 Magazine.

    We live in a beautiful place up here, even when it's gray out. 

    Taken in this general area of islands:

    I can't wait to share more once the article comes out in 2015.

  • 7 october, 2014: olympia farmers market

    Parker and I drove to Olympia, Washington on Saturday to visit the farmers market, see some friends, and explore a new city. Olympia is a quaint, cute town with a lot of character and amazing apples. I left the farmers market with $15 of pears, apples, and peaches. We'll be back.

  • 15 august, 2014: fog and water

    Fog is one of my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest. Many of my morning drives  have been cool, crisp and gray with plenty of fog. I'm loving the calmness of it all.
    It seems like locals don't seem to take much notice (they're used to it), but there's some sort of comfort in seeing blankets of fog around the big, tall pine and fir trees that line every street.

    Here's a few scenes around the office this morning in Tacoma.

  • 3 june, 2014: to the west

    I have a new home! Parker and I moved to Seattle, Washington about a week ago. I'm the new (and very first!) full-time staff photographer and photo editor for 425 Magazine and South Sound Magazine, two lifestyle mags for and about the Eastside and South Puget Sound areas.

    It's the kind of job I used to dream about when I started taking pictures years ago. The fact that it has become a reality still hasn't really hit me yet. Premier Media Group, the publishing group that owns the magazines, was recently voted Top Place to Work in the area, and they're taking good care of me. 

    I'm so incredibly happy about all of these new life changes. And also about getting an L-shaped couch from IKEA. L-shaped couches frequent my dreams. I just want one. I'm grown up now, ya know? I'm supposed to care about throw pillows and Calphalon pans and wine glasses and stuff. 

    It's been a crazy few weeks. When I found out I got the job, I had a few weeks to pack up my life and hit the road. (But first, I screamed for 5 solid minutes from excitement, if we're being honest.) We hugged Tulsa goodbye and started on our 2,000 mile journey west. Not to worry - I packed a lot of snacks. So many blueberries, so many miles. 

    One last photo with the family the night before I moved away. They rock and I love them. I'm trying to lure them all to the Northwest.

    Let's rewind.

    We've had a busy year. We've lived in 4 states during the past year, and we're so excited to finally call a place home for more than a few months at a time.

    June 2013: It was the last day of my job at Mizzou Magazine, where I had been a photographer for four years in Columbia, Missouri. We graduated college a few months before, and stayed in Columbia to work. In June, we packed up our lives and headed for Washington, D.C., where Parker worked as a videographer for NPR Music.


    We lived on Capitol Hill in a condo just minutes walking distance away from the Eastern Market, the U.S. Capitol, and the National Mall. Parker walked to work every day, which was a real treat (until it was 100 degrees outside with 100% humidity - thanks, DC.) We had a great summer. I freelanced and was a total tourist, getting to know the city on foot. We ate a ton of peaches (thank you, Eastern Market), rode a lot of trains (public transit was excellent) and made new friends. 

    In September, Parker and I came back to our hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked as freelance photographers and videographers. I worked as the photographer and photo editor for TulsaKids Magazine, where I shot covers, features and portraits for the monthly parenting magazine. I gained a lot of great experience working with a very talented staff where I learned so much about marketing and production of the magazine.

    During that time, we applied for jobs near and far, waiting for the right opportunity. It took a lot of patience, drive and determination, and it has finally paid off.

    Let's go on a road trip, shall we?

    More than half of these are iPhone photos.

    We made our first destination Denver, Colorado.

    Pause. 

    I LOVE Colorado.

    Does anyone NOT like Colorado? I've never met someone who doesn't absolutely love it. It's a green, mountainy snowglobe and it gives me shivers down my spine everytime we cross over the hill somewhere after Kansas and start to see mountains. It's a wonderful place full of delicious coffee and excellent brunches. 

    One of our first stops was The Source in the River North District in Denver. It's an 1880s brick foundry building converted into a local food market with a delicious bakery, Boxcar Coffee, cheese and beer shops, and so much more. A+ for Denver. 

    Next: Boulder. One of my favorite cities in America. Boulder is perfect. Lunch at Foolish Craig's was an excellent choice, as always.

    I mean, they serve breakfast until 5. FIVE. IN THE AFTERNOON. Go there and get crepes and cheesy grits. Parker would make you order the Foolish Huevos, which he claims are the best version of Huevos Rancheros EVER because they make them with crepes. 

    I've driven from Oklahoma to Toronto and Oklahoma to San Francisco, but I've never driven north from Colorado. We weren't sure what to expect, but we knew it would be better than Kansas. First up: Wyoming. 

    Fun fact: More people live in Tulsa County than the entire state of Wyoming. It was a gorgeous, weird, quiet drive on I-80 to Utah. I saw, like, 4 people. The scenery wasn't disappointing, even if I did see tumbleweed several times.

    The next night, we stayed with our lovely Mizzou friends Anna and Ben, who lived just north of Salt Lake City in Ogden, Utah. They're great people and I'm so glad we were able to see them. Ogden is beautiful - all of Utah is. They also have a kitten they're taking care of named Pearl. I love Pearl. 

    We hit the road again and stopped in the town of Snowville, Utah. Population 167. We had a great brunch at Mollie's Cafe, the last stop on our way out of the state and into Idaho. 

     

    We made it Oregon after a long day of driving. This view was literally right after the Idaho-Oregon border. I was already in love with the Northwest. 

    We pulled over for a scenic outlook over the Oregon Trail.

     

    We spent in the night in The Dalles, Oregon and woke up to a great view of Mt. Hood. We also made a stop at one of our favorite places in the country, Multnomah Falls. 

    The Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House

    So, here we are! We made it to Washington (the OTHER Washington) and we're starting to make this our home. We made it all 2,000+ miles with no speeding tickets, fender benders or bruises. 

    A few things I've learned about Washington state so far:

    • The sun rises at 5:15am, and dusk is around 9:30 here. 10:30 and there's still light in the sky. The days are so long and I love every minute of the bright sunshine. Everyone says it rains here all the time, and I'm not doubting it, but for now, we've had beautiful weather every day. Occasionally a few rain drops, but everything is green and the rain smells so good I cannot complain.

    • On the flipside, locals warn me about winter. The sun rises around 8 or 9am and sets at, like, 4pm. Let's just talk about summer :) 

    • So. Many. Starbucks. From the Seattle Times: "Seattle has more Starbucks per capita than any other large U.S. city, with about 23 of them for every 100,000 residents."

    • I-5 traffic is as crazy as they say it is, but it's not worse than DC traffic. In DC, I actually turned the car off in the middle of the highway because it's essentially a parking lot during rush hour. Seattle traffic is slow, but it keeps moving.

    • There may not be income tax here, but they'll getcha one way or another. I paid $92 to get a Washington drivers license last week. Ouch.

    • People are very passionate about Costco and Fred Meyer. I'm intrigued. 

    • QuikTrip does not exist and no one knows what it is, no matter how many times I reference it. Devestating.  

    • The trees are huge. Pines smell delicious. 

    • Everything is beautiful. Even the most industrial parts of town are lined with pines and Mt. Rainier views. The cool, crisp air is refreshing.

    Everyone told me to go to Top Pot. The old fashioned ones made with sour cream are the best.

    It's not a trip to Seattle without a stop at the famous gum wall. Don't lean up against this wall. Your hair won't forget it. 

    Everyone we meet tells us how much fun we're going to have exploring this part of the country we've never been able to call home until now. We have the mountain on one side, the Pacific ocean on the other, and views of Puget Sound from every corner.

    Top on my list for the summer:

    • Alaskan cruise
    • A weekend in Vancouver and Victoria, Canada
    • Lots and lots of blueberry and raspberry picking

    We have a lot to learn about this place, but I wake up each day with a little burst of excitement about what we'll do, what we'll see and what we'll learn. It's only been a week, and it's so much more than I could've hoped for. 

    Did I convince you to come visit us yet? I'll work on it.