Monday, December 8, 2014

Music Monday

Saw a couple of great movies this weekend, both with amazing soundtracks and both which I sobbed through. The first was The Fault In Our Stars. It was an incredibly sad story as I knew it would be, covering the short lives of two amazing young people battling cancer together and ultimately falling in love. Tearing up just thinking about it... The second was Begin Again, starring a (singing) Kiera Knightley and an always dreamy Mark Ruffalo. I picked this one up just for those actors, not knowing much else about the film. Adam Levine also had a brief role, his singing was gorgeous but the acting, meh, lets just say it wasn't up to par with Ruffalo, hehe. It was to my surprise that it was actually a really touching film and the music was just beautiful. Check out these two clips of the main song "Lost Stars," written in the movie by Knightley, the songwriter and sung first by her and then in the end her bf, Levine. Which one do you like better?

Happy Monday
~The One Who Is Smiling

Monday, November 17, 2014

Music Monday - Lorde

Soulful ear candy for your Monday morning. Lorde covering Don't Tell 'Em by Jeremih. Love it when artists cover songs that I don't really like but I end up liking the cover. Enjoy!

~The One Who Is Smiling 

Friday, November 14, 2014

This Year's Crash The Superbowl Commercial Entry

 We had such a great time creating this year's commercial for the annual Doritos Crash The Superbowl Contest. From concept to creation, my Cisco colleagues Ken Phipps, Chris Lang, John Haughie and I tried to top last year's entry tenfold. With handmade costumes, professional makeup artists (myself), detailed storyboarding and a full cast of actors made up of friends, husbands, colleagues and beloved pets, how could it not win? Did I mention the recently restored Dorito-orange Mustang we featured in the chase scenes?  We even included both animals AND adorable kids (BIG thank you to all of my husband's YMCA kids and parents) in this year's entry; key elements our commercial was sorely lacking last year. Top that off with action-packed adventure and I think its safe to say, we really had it all this year.

Enjoy, comment and please be sure to RATE OUR VIDEO HERE!
~The One Who Is Smiling

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Beautiful Business Photography


So for those of you who haven't heard, I'm starting my very own business here in Raleigh, NC. The RTP has become one of the top areas in the nation for budding startups and I'm ready to get in on the action.

My idea is simple, it's a video production company that specializes in "explainer videos." The company, SO|MO Studios will also house a number of motion graphic artists and video specialists that will retain initial "explainer video" customers by offering product demo videos, customer interviews, Q&A videos, commercials and more!

For the most part I've got the branding finished and the concept and target audience identified. Now any smart small business/startup owner will understand that you can't make this happen on your own. I immediately reached out to some very good and very talented friends in the Triangle for help. One of these friends was Anne Rhodes, an extremely gifted designer, photographer and classmate of mine. I needed someone to help me create some amazing photos for my company's new website (still in progress), and let me tell you, she was the woman for the job. See for yourself with a sneak peak of the session we had below.

Photography by Anne Rhodes
Photography by Anne Rhodes

Photography by Anne Rhodes

Photography by Anne Rhodes

Photography by Anne Rhodes

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DIY House Plant Cupcakes

So two things lately that I've been obsessing with lately - baking and milkglass. Don't ask me why but lately I've been a really Betty-Crocker type. When I asked for a vintage milkglass cake stand and received it during my family's Secret Santa Gift Swap this year, there were some confusing looks and my cousin asked my husband "If I had asked for that." Haha! I really have not been into the whole homemaker thing until recently.

Anyways I stumbled across these DIY House Plant Cupcakes and just thought they were adorable. I also drooled extensively over the cakestand. We recently invested in some miniature cacti for our entryway table and these cupcakes are identical! Now I don't think I'd ever attempt to make these - they would never look the same - but kudos to the artist. These are just adorable.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Music Monday - Bird and The Bee

So this Music Monday I've decided to share a song that has been in my head playing on repeat. It was played many times throughout my trip last week to San Francisco to visit my parents for the holidays. The song is "Sara Smile," one of my favorites by Hall & Oates, an artist introduced to myself and my younger brothers when we were young by my parents. The song brings back memories of when I was a child and didn't quite understand the lyrics but I could feel the emotion in the song. My younger brother, who plays the guitar is trying to learn the song by ear, hence the reason we heard it so many times last week. Although I absolutely love the original version by Hall & Oates, I've decided to feature the song played by another one of my favorite bands, The Bird And The Bee, who did an amazing tribute album to Hall & Oates in 2010. I hope you enjoy.

~The One Who is Smiling

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Help me Crash The Superbowl!

Hey friends, a few months back a few co-workers and I decided to enter the Crash The Superbowl Ad Contest which is a contest where anyone can submit their own Doritos commercial video and it would be decided whose is worthy of being aired on TV during this year's Superbowl game by anyone in the world based on votes. This is where you, my friends, family and followers come in!

All you have to do is check out my video (the actors in it are all my coworkers and my bosses at Cisco) and vote by using the star rating in the bottom left corner. If you can go a step farther by blasting this link and telling your friends and family to do the same through email, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. that would be amazing! I appreciate your help so much!
It took a LOT of time to make his short 30 second commercial so I hope you at least get a laugh out of it!

~The One Who is Smiling

Monday, November 18, 2013

Music Monday!

So this Music Monday, it seems only natural to mention a local artist that I was a huge fan of (I dragged Michael to many shows, he can attest to this), not only because her voice is just phenomenal and her performance is always a blast, but because she seems like a truly interesting person that I could see myself being friends with! She seems so down to earth and guess what? She is a graphic designer just like me! Although she chose to pursue music, which in her case seemed like the right decision. Her Raleigh band (before they broke up) was called The Design. Even though it was sad when they split, I applaud her ambition because shortly after she joined The Voice, a singing talent live TV show, where she has now made it to the top ten! You can watch her perform tonight at 8/7c on NBC. Until then I will share one of her original songs by The Design, titled Burn. Rock on Kat!

~The One Who is Smiling

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lick! -- Pet Photography

I love this series of puppies mid-lick, titled appropriately "Lick". I think it's adorable when Winston, our eldest boxer, yawns so hard his tongue curls up and out of his mouth soooo long. This pet photography project was created by Ty Foster, a very talented photographer with a sweet spot for animals who recently also did a similar series called "Shake" capturing dogs mid-shake. Both of these series crack me up. Hope you enjoy!

~The One Who is Smiling

Monday, November 11, 2013

My First Music Monday

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So I love discovering new music and I know I've posted a few of my favorite videos on this blog but I guess I just want to share with more consistency and hopefully y'all can share some of your favorite artists with me as well. So #MM or Music Mondays is my solution to that! And here is my first share. His name is Bernhoft (Jarle Bernhoft) and my brother introduced me to him. He saw him live in Europe while traveling and was impressed with his music ability as was I when I saw this video. He does a great job looping his own vocals and music and creating a great melody. And he is easy on the eyes :) Check it out, let me know what you think.

~The One Who is Smiling 

Friday, November 8, 2013

I Want To Time-lapse!

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Hi friends, please watch this beautiful time-lapse video of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. It is so amazing and now I desperately want to go to this festival at some point in my life. Ok, second, I know the time-lapse thing has been around for a while now, but the more creative these videos are getting the more I'm aching to try it myself! I have the camera and this Thanksgiving I will be traveling to San Francisco so I will have the scenery! What else could I need? I asked this very same question to my co-workers, a film crew and band of creative misfits who have experimented with many different types of cameras, lenses, techniques and settings.

First off they said, a solid tripod. I don't own a heavy duty one but I do have a small table top one that I've used throughout my amateur photography career and it's done me well, so check.

Second is a good intervalometer. A what what?? So an intervalometer basically plugs right into your camera and acts as a mini computer. You can program it to control the shutter speed, exposure, self timer for specifically timed shots and number of shots taken over a period of time. By programming all of this at the beginning you can set up a time-lapse photography shoot all ahead of time and really just let the camera do it's work. It also significantly reduces camera shake in your shots my eliminating taking the shots manually. Ok, I think I'm going to have to get me one of those. Bonus, they are great for night shots because you can program them for long exposures.

Ok now, third, they mentioned a good memory card. Typically with time-lapse captures you will need a lot of shots for just a short video. For example, if you were shooting just a 15 second time-lapse at 24fps you would need 360 total still frames/photographs. Typically when you are shooting a time-lapse video you will want the highest quality that your camera can capture for each photograph to create a beautiful cinematic type video. All of this takes up a lot of space on your memory card. A 32-62 GB memory card should do you but have an extra one on hand just in case.

So I did a whole tutorial series on to learn a bit more about how to make a professional looking time-lapse video but if you don't have a membership you are in luck! There are plenty of free resources on the web that take you through step by step depending on what look you are trying to achieve as well as helpful blogs that offer time-lapse tips. Let me know if you have come across any helpful sites or beautiful time-lapse videos that inspire you!

~The One Who is Smiling 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, and Happy Marriage!

My cousin and his lovely fiance decided to have their wedding celebration on Halloween night and Michael and I were ecstatic. I mean, a costume Halloween party? Ghostly treats? All the candy you could ask for, and a spooky DJ? Yes please. After much deliberation we decided on a couples costume of Alice and the Mad Hatter. Costumes were a hit and the pictures were even better! And what a fun wedding it was! I'll most likely look back now at every Halloween and note that it just will never compare. Happy Halloween y'all!

~The One Who is Smiling

I did our make-up in like 45 minutes. Pretty good right??

My bro the hippie made an appearance as well!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2 Year Anniversary!

So Michael and I had our 2 year wedding anniversary in September, I know I'm late! I wanted to share some photos of the amazing meal he created from scratch. He is such an amazing cook, when he wants to be of course! It was a perfect evening and it was nice to sit down and use our table again. We've been so busy with our schedules it's been hard to get on the same one! Hope you all enjoy these :)

~ The One Who is Smiling

Beef Wellington, find recipe here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Michael's 30th Birthday

So Michael had his 30th Birthday this month. His bowling bash party was a success, thank goodness. I knew it was going to be fun regardless but about a week before the party, I decided to go all out! It also happened to be one of the most chaotic weeks at work, so it ended up being REALLY fun :) But it all turned out so great. I used the initial theme of the invitation to create a nice palette that went quite well with the interior colors of The Alley. I used this palette throughout the design of the welcome sign, cupcake toppers, garland, party favors and props. I think everything turned out pretty awesome. I don't DIY often but when I do, its really rewarding. Most importantly, Michael had a great time! Check out some of the great shots below of our guests being silly with our handmade props.

~The One Who is Smiling

The Alley

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dapper Doggy


I need (no not want, absolutely positively need) a set of these for Winston to wear around. He always looks so noble walking around the house, with his perfect posture, these would just complete his "dapper doggy" look. Not to mention, they will be perfect for when I capture his constant "blue steel" and "magnum" looks. Gotta love a dog that models for his mommy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Soulful Music

Here is a little ear candy for your Tuesday morning. Listen, love and remember <3
~The One Who is Smiling

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Live From Durham...

Guess who I get to see this Saturday?! If you haven't listened to their music before, check it out. Their live performances are supposed to be truly amazing. Can't wait!

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