august favorites:

I really can't believe that August is over. This summer FLEW by, especially this past month! Before we bring in the new month (my birthday month, actually) let's recap some of my favorite posts from August:

DIYs: This chalkboard DIY has been one of my favorite crafts to date! (Perfect for college living.) My man and I have been much too busy this past month to make use of our "Date Night in a Jar" but we're exciting to start using it soon, and maybe when we go out on a date, I can use Sam's tutorial to make a hair bow?

Adventures: This month has been full of adventures! A couple of my favorites were my trip to the Art Museum with Jenna and Historic Newtown

Recipes: It was a pretty uneventful month for recipes. I did, however, have a series on salads and how to make them delicious!

Outfits: I'm still obsessed with this peach dress so much that I almost don't want summer to be over because I don't want to stop wearing it! I'm thinking that if I add some tights though, it'll carry me through the fall. I also had a blast guesting posting for The You Are Project. If you haven't checked those girls out, definitely do so, because they're super great!

Photography: Since it's my busy season, it's been a big month for photography. This family shoot is one of my favorites to date! I also started a series highlighting some of the elements of photography, the first of which was composition. I also had a few weddings this month, too! Check out Lindsay and Nate's beach wedding

A look into my life: My goal on here is to be as open about myself as possible, something that I definitely stepped up this month! There was one day when I blogged about not wanting to blog and another when I shared my adventures in spontaneity. I also started (finally) giving you all a tour of my home, starting with my jewelry displays and my room

What do you guys think? What were some of your favorite posts? 
xo, e.m.

healthy swaps: the college edition

I'm going to go ahead and say that college kids are probably among the most unhealthy group of people in the land. It's a fast-paced lifestyle where microwavable meals are "necessity" and all-nighters are an everyday occurrence. We've all heard of the dreaded "Freshman 15," which, if not stopped, can turn into a whole slew of weight problems for the entirety of one's college career. Who has time to worry about fluctuating weight when there are classes, exams, and nagging professors all around? If you feel tired all the time, chances are, that's your body screaming at you to start nourishing it properly and getting sleep! I don't want to hear any excuses, okay? During my college years, (however short of a time that may have been) I worked TWO jobs, played in a very active band, maintained a 4.0 GPA and still managed to get a solid seven and a half hours of sleep every night. Before you go to the grocery store to trade in your Easy Mac and Cup 'O Noodles for stalks of broccoli and Rainbow Kale, I implore you to practice good time-management. With a lot of sleep and a mind that's not cluttered by endless streams of unnecessary social media, you'll be surprised at how much better you'll feel. And if that doesn't work, here are some snacks to grab on your way out the door when you're late for class:

1. We all have a sweet tooth, we do. Refined sugars are a silent killer and I think one of the main causes of the unhealthy college lifestyle. They're cheap, easy to find, and, let's face it, they taste pretty good. After a quick and fleeting sugar rush, however, they leave our energy levels completely depleted and leave us extra fat as a parting gift. If you find yourself feeling tired even after a good night of sleep, you should put down the Oreos and consider going raw for a few days. What better way to do that than with cookies? Some would argue that eating raw is the only way that you can get absolutely every bit of nutrient from the food that we put into our bodies. Makes sense though, right? None of the good stuff is zapped away in a cooking process so you're left with 100% of the nutrients. I even enjoy these cookies as breakfast sometimes! They may be small but a few are good enough to hold me over until lunchtime!

2. This is a snack that I keep in my bag at all times. Even if you're not athletic or super active, a quick punch of protein is always a good thing. These seitan and soy jerkies taste delicious and they'll give you that protein kick that you need.

3. Chia is a super food. Often called "the runner's food" because of their hydrating properties, Chia seeds reduce cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system and thus help weight loss. They're the richest plant source of Omega-3's, in fact, they contain more Omega-3's than salmon! (Which has a lot, if you're not into nutrition and didn't know that.) You can find Chia seeds everywhere nowadays. I love these Chia fruit bars. If you're feeling extra brave, try G.T.'s Grape Chia Kombucha. All of the benefits of kombucha, the nutrition of Chia, and it tastes a lot like jello! 

4. In keeping with the "rawness," try to find a raw fruit and nut bar to replace your granola bars. While granola bars aren't a bad breakfast or snack, you can take it a step farther with one of these nutrient-rich bad boys. I like Larabars the best because there are SO many flavors to choose from so you'll never get tired of eating them!

5. Coffee. It tastes good and it's got caffeine. Need I say more? Now, I don't think twice about drinking my coffee black because it's just what I've always done but apparently it's not normal, because whenever I say that, people look at me like I have 5 heads. However, if you want to get rid of some pointless calories in your daily routine, try drinking your coffee black. It'll keep you on your toes, that's for sure! I love this Black Coffee in a bottle but since it's made here in Philadelphia, I'm not sure if other parts of the country have it. I don't see why not, maybe? It's the most convenient thing in the world if you're on your way out the door and don't have time to brew a fresh pot, just grab one out of the fridge and you're good! Now, I know what you're going to say. "Erika, have you NEVER heard of Keurig?" I don't like it! The concept freaks me out and quite frankly, I find the single-sup deal to be selfish if you're living with more than one person! Maybe you guys can change my mind? Anywho, have a great Friday and a great weekend.

xo, e.m.

p.s. I feel like I was extra chatty during this post. Maybe all of the black coffee bottles?

cowboy boots for indian summers

You don't see a lot of cowboys on the Northeastern Coast. Actually, I'm pretty sure that the only cowboy that I've ever seen was the Naked Cowboy in New York City. (He's this guy who walks around Manhattan, mostly Times Square wearing nothing but a guitar, tightie whities, a cowboy hat, and boots. It is extremely disturbing.) Despite the lack of cowboys though, there seems to always be an overabundance of cowboy boots filling up the local thrift stores, which leads me to believe that there was, at some time, a large population of cowboys. Okay, my logic is flawed because I know that you don't have to be a cowboy to wear cowboy boots. You don't have to lasso a cow, shoot a revolver or eat chili all the time. You just have to be brave enough to deal with your friends who will make fun of you for wearing them. I know this from personal experience. And.... that is my long-winded synopsis of what it feels like to wear cowboy boots. And that's all I got. Hope you're all having a great week so far! Only a few days until the weekend, right?

xo, e.m.

beach wedding preview

Meet Nate and Lindsay. They're two of the most joyful people that I know and their beach wedding was truly breathtaking. There's a lot of love between these two, it's made evident in these pictures! They're a strong couple that I look up to and I was honored to be a part of their special day!

xo, e.m.

whoa there!

I think it'd be wrong of me to not announce on here some of my Autumn Specials on here! There are only a few days left for the $99 standard session promotion but there is a lot of time left on the Free Engagement Session special! The best part about that one is that since I've made the decision to make my wedding services worldwide, you don't have to worry about being local! That's right, if you want me to shoot your wedding, we can certainly work out something with the engagement shoot. I mean, we can at least try, right? If either of these ads jumps out and grabs you, don't hesitate to shoot me an email,

xo, e.m.

lark & lace x the you are project: six ways

When The You Are Project asked me to do a guest post for them, I was beyond excited! I met these girls months and months ago at a coffee shop. They heard me talking (you can't blame them for overhearing, I'm a loud Italian girl from Jersey, remember?) to a friend about my trip to China and my planned return and they struck up conversation with us. I've loved them from that day, I adore that kind of boldness and look up to it so much! For my guest post on their blog, I decided to showcase six ways to style your little black dress for the fall. Check out my post and their blog, it's all sorts of wonderful! I love what these girls stand for and I'm honored to be supporting them. (To learn more about that, check out their mission statement.)

xo, e.m.

boyish things

Now that we're living a bit farther from each other, CJ and I have been thinking of different ways to bond from a distance. It just so happens that one of those ways is Fantasy Football, for which our draft was today. Can I just say that it was some of the most fun we've had together in a while? I learned a little about football and a lot about my man. I learned that he might be one of the few people on the world who can effectively explain a concept to me on the first try. That's what love language is all about, right? We're both very competitive people so it'll be interesting when the week comes that we're playing against each other. I'll keep you posted though, I think we all know who will win. The Icebox! (That's my team name. Little Giants, anybody?) But seriously, if your man is into sports and you're just not, this is a great way to get into them and do game day together, because trust me, I used to dread Sunday afternoons because there 1,001 things I would rather do! Now, I'm happily looking forward to them.

xo, e.m.

this week in instagrams

Blogging as I am literally on the way out the door to second-shoot my second wedding this weekend! Hope you all have a great weekend, can't wait to show you pictures from mine!

xo, e.m.

where I rest my head:

As this new house is slowly but surely turning into a home, I'll finally be following through on my promise to share pictures! First on the home tour: my room. My room is super simple. I hate clutter and I'm trying to be as minimal as possible. My old room used to be my room/office/everything else and I couldn't shut off my mind at night because I was still amidst all of my work stuff. Word to the wise: if it's possible to keep your workspace and your sleeping space separate, definitely do so! I'm lucky enough to have a separate office and a studio apart from my bedroom and it's helped my mental health so much! I love that my room is small and cozy. It's basically just a bed in a room and that's exactly what I've always wanted! My closets aren't even in my room, they're in my office! It's perfect for me. Can't wait to share some more!

xo, e.m.