… not when your meeting is with Sean O’Keefe Events. if you have a meeting planned with Sean, prepare for laughs, personal conversation, and an attention to detail that is so often overlooked in this world of texting, emailing, and face paced general anonymity. recently, i got to sit in on a meeting with a client of SOE’s who was picking out floral arrangements for their upcoming Kate’s Club charity event. first of all, i had a blast, and i’m barely involved. second, i loved seeing just how above and beyond Sean + Caryn go to get to know their clients and make sure that their needs are being met and their wishes understood.
walking into Sean’s home/workspace, clients immediately feel comfortable. his space is open and full of light with lovely decorative pieces everywhere you turn. beautiful art, a gorgeous open kitchen, and 3 precious dogs are on hand to make meetings not only informative, but also relaxing and fun.
*a little champagne in these awesome glasses doesn’t hurt either !
it was such a lovely late afternoon turned early evening with SOE and Elizabeth + Gloria of Kate’s Club. champagne, rose, business talk, and a little personal catch up made for the perfect “meeting” in my eyes! make sure to check out the SOE website for more information about Sean and all the services he offers.
also make sure to check out Kate’s Club’s website for their upcoming event, the Spirit of Kate’s Club Gala, May 17th at the Lowe’s Hotel in midtown. i can say with certainty that thanks to Sean, you’re not going to want to miss the flowers!
it’s been a minute since i’ve taken inventory for my 52 weeks project and although i would like to call myself a slacker, i’m pumped about how these last few weeks have come out.
it’s been a crazy few weeks….
// doing lots of work for Sean O’Keefe Events chronicling their crazy schedule of events and just getting to take in all the beauty that they create with my camera //
//it’s the start to the market season which is THE BEST THING EVER so fresh eggs, fresh veggies, fresh everything. sadly, my run at Octopus Bar has come to an end, but it just means i’ll be doing a lot more private cooking and utilizing all that the market has to offer //
//i’ll be doing a lot more food photography + food styling so don’t fret, the baking will not be going away //
//moved in with my manfriend (who is also the best at helping me try out camera lenses ) a few weeks ago, which has been interesting. upon unpacking, we quickly realized that we have way to many books and not enough furniture. so we’re on the hunt to fill our place with less reading material and more place to sit to read said reading material //
// and onward to week 16 and beyond looking forward to open porch season and lots of patio beers + cocktails //
happy weekend, y’all.
oh, where to begin with this amazing wedding? first of all, there never was a better bride and groom than Caitlin + Nathaniel. having met and fallen in love through their band, the Carnivores, they are truly the most down to earth enjoyable people i have ever gotten the chance to photograph. second of all, their friends and family are beyond awesome. my biggest heart pangs came from seeing just how much their families and joint friends came together and surrounded them on their day causing the most enjoyable ruckus i’ve been to in a long time.
with their friend and bandmate officiating, multiple friends DJing, and a slew of other friends helping with the details, the evening was pure loving bliss. spilled beers, dance trains, and plenty of good photo ops made for one of the best weddings i’ve had the pleasure of being at and photographing. such a lovely couple, such a lovely day.
thanks Caitlin + Nathaniel!
*awesome* food + desserts: Candler Park Deli + Kitchen
spring is here! and i think it’s safe to say we all experienced a more grueling winter than in years in past. at least for me, this winter felt colder than usual, longer than usual, and just plain nastier than usual. so as these first few warm weekends have hit, i’ve pounced on the social scene like a squirrel to a nut.
luckily, for many of these events, i get to be in the presence of Mr. Sean O’Keefe who is beyond charming, beyond approachable, and beyond good looking. yes, i am a little biased, but still he is the man to be on the town with, and i thoroughly enjoyed attending the The Atlantan's Datebook (which has Sean graced the cover of ) charity awards ceremony where he gave me the run down on his going out repertoire.
the Estate was charmingly decorated with lovely florals and details that made the space shine. the drinks and appetizers went well with the early spring timing and Sean was dressed to the nines in a casual but trendy crisp red blazer. i asked Sean about his shopping rituals and how he picks the pieces for his wardrobe, and he replied with plenty of ease that the Macy’s Men’s store is the place to go. the staff is friendly, helpful, and efficient and Sean always leaves knowing that he was giving the proper attention and the proper attire. going hand and hand with his personality, Sean picks pieces with vibrant colors, and bold patterns.
when it comes to Sean’s getting-ready routine, you’ll most likely find him pre-event with a glass of lemon water, a lit Jo Malone candle, and all 3 of his beloved wire haired dachshunds watching him dress. sean’s also added a little makeup to his routine, stating that with all the photographers out and about, no one has any time to be looking shiny and boring…. words i might want to start thinking about.
as we sipped on delicious vodka cocktails, you can’t help but love the ease that Sean and his event group have when attending parties. he is totally in his element and rightfully so, as the room was filled with some of his most favorite contemporaries. furthermore, Sean loves it, expressing that events bring out the best parts of people: charm, candor, and shop talk. he loves attending events for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine, the Capital Grille, and other local entities that do their best to support him and his event company as well as good causes in and around Atlanta.
so, here’s a toast to Spring and all the lovely social festivities it brings. we certainly hope to see you at a couple of the great events around Atlanta this spring and summer.
today couldn’t be more fitting for this post. it’s raining, actually it’s pouring. there is lightning. there is thunder. and most likely, not many of you are getting to spend the day snuggled in your bed watching that Game of Thrones recording like you totally wish you were.
so, i’ll just bring a little happiness straight to that computer screen you’ll be staring at all day.
Sean O’Keefe loves flowers. he loves arranging flowers, growing flowers, and particularly, he loves gifting flowers. what’s even better is that he is beyond talented in each one of these activities. Sean has his own home organic garden where he grows everything from flowers and vegetables to figs and fun.
but when Sean O’Keefe Events has an important event he goes straight to the best of the best to buy the best fresh flowers for his arrangements. Sean believes that Alex and his team at Cut Flower Wholesale provide “the best quality at the best value” for those in the business in Atlanta. more recently Sean’s been teaming up with Lush Life, Fox Gloves + Ivy, and is very excited to be working with Carithers for his Happy, Hopeful, and Proud event coming up April 26th.
if you’re looking for some arrangements for your next big event, dinner, or wedding, Sean O’Keefe Events is the go to for beautiful and detail oriented pieces of art. his floral studio is now open and is just pure loveliness.
since the extent of my floral arranging knowledge involves stopping at Whole Foods, picking up things that look pretty, and putting them in a vase together (sometimes works, most times it doesn’t work), Sean and i sat down and chatted about the art of floral arranging.
he noted that it’s important to stay sensitive to where these flowers are going. you want the arrangement to contrast the room while also speaking to room. his flow starts with picking the colors, then the vase, and the flowers. yea, i think i work backwards on that one. he loves to anchor his arrangements with hydrangeas, tulips, snapdragons, and roses and work from there using more interested varieties. he also insists that spending money on greenery is a no no. walk outside and see what your own surroundings provide in the greenery department, you’d be surprised with what’s literally right outside your window.
i spent the morning shooting these arrangements for Sean at the Capital Grille where Sean was not only delivering this thank you arrangement, but also hosting a meeting with one of is next big events. thanking the Capital Grille for their generous support at the recent GOCA fundraiser, Sean gifted this beautiful arrangement along with some smaller table top arrangements.
with Spring finally here, it’s onto the next event for Sean. so make sure to check out his website to get more information about his events and how to book Sean for your next big event. in the meantime, make sure to take a second and stop and smell the roses.
what goes well with wednesday? doughnuts. chocolate doughnuts with a Guinness glaze and big cup of fresh brewed coffee. that’s what goes well with wednesday.
you know what goes well with chocolate doughnuts + coffee? ice cream. vanilla ice cream. homemade vanilla ice cream. that’s what goes well with wednesday + chocolate doughnuts + coffee.
so cheers to wednesday! may you find something sweet in the day to get you through this midweek hump. if you don’t have doughnuts on hand or aren’t interested in making doughnuts (as i know many of you aren’t), support these awesome local doughnut shops around town:
Revolution Doughnuts in Decatur
Sublime Doughnuts in midtown (as well as Bangkok, Thailand… who knew??). i love Sublime’s opening video as well, check it out!
happy wednesday, y’all!
starting with the big move this past weekend, april is bringing lots of interesting and good changes. i’m excited to announce that i’m taking on many more photography and writing opportunities in the coming months. many of them revolve around food and food styling, and some do not which i’m equally excited about as it’s time to spread my wings.
first on the chopping block is working more with Sean O’Keefe and his fabulous event company appropriately named Sean O’Keefe Events. with a background in the culinary world, Sean came to Atlanta by way of LA and is now running one of the premier event companies in Atlanta. from 1000 attendee fundraisers to unique weddings to 15 guest dinner parties, Sean does it all and i’m so thankful that i met him 3 years ago when i started photographing. he is actually the main reason i started photographing professionally. he is a smart business owner with a big heart who is doing big things here in Atlanta and i can’t wait to take part!
last week, Sean put together a little soiree for the opening of Sweet Peach Buckhead. Raquel Souza, owner of Sweet Peach, has built quite a brand for herself and i love what she has going on at the new location. the shop is beautiful filled with perfect light, soothing colors, and even more soothing products. if you are new to the world of waxing or sugaring, GO SEE RAQUEL! seriously, she knows what’s up. her shop also offers facials, massages, and all the wonderful necessities that make us feel good. book an appointment today!
Sean is one busy man and if he’s not planning an event, he’s getting ready to attend one. Stay tuned for the followup post where we head to the Atlantan Magazine’s DateBook awards show at The Estate in Buckhead.
i feel i must open with an apology as i know this blog has been somewhat somber over the last few weeks. i know yesterday got a few tears flowing, and i do apologize for that, but i’m making it up to with a “holy hell, it’s friday (!!)” cocktail post.
*i also really wanted a reason to photograph this awesome glassware that brian + i picked up on our trip to Milledgeville. it’s by Libbey Glassware and i love it!! *
it’s friday and i think we can all agree that that is an awesome thing. this friday in particular is rather exciting for me. first of all, april is almost here, and for me, april is bringing big changes that are nerve racking, yet needed and exciting. also, after 3 + months of somewhat squatting, man friend and i are moving into our digs! i don’t think words can really express how excited i am about this. just before january 1st 2014, i moved out of the beloved coop, my home and family for 2 + years. i needed a change and man friend and i were looking for a spot. we figured february 1st we would find something and i could just hole up in my workspace for the time being, but oh no no… word to the wise: DO NOT plan on moving between the months of december and march unless you hate yourself and want to make your life miserable. we couldn’t find ANYWHERE to live. literally. either there was nothing available or the things we did find would not be suitable for a cockroach. so for the past 3 months, i’ve been in and out of my workspace, my mom’s house, and dogsitting (yes, i am a professional). and as lovely as i might have found that 3 years ago when i nomadically wwoofed around the country with my best friend, my limits have been tested and all i want is bed that i can sleep in for more than 1 night, a sofa, and my beloved terry cloth bathrobe which is boxed up somewhere someplace missing me just as much as i’m missing it.
so on this rainy friday, i decided to get into celebration mode and prepare for the gloriousness that this coming month will hold by making a cocktail! i rarely make cocktails and i’m not very good at it. i have so much admiration for bartenders particularly those at places like Empire State South and Kimball house who make inspiring and well thought out drinks that taste delicious.
taking some items that i already had on hand, i think i pulled together a rather delicious concoction and come 5 pm, i’m going to grab a chair and sit in it for at least an hour. i’m going to also eat a cookie that i set aside for myself as i believe that cookies and cocktail hour should always go hand in hand. cheers to friday, y’all!
*”holy hell, it’s friday cocktail time!”*
1. combine, and drink. that’s it.
to say the last few weeks have been tough seems an understatement. my sweet pup of 14 years, who had aged so gracefully, reached that point that no pet owner ever really prepares themselves for. it’s the point where you know the end is near and you must finally come to terms with the fact that they will not outlive you.
I got auggie at the end of 8th grade after begging and pleading with my parents to let me have my own dog. at the time, we were somewhat new in Atlanta, and I had friends but not many. I had acne and braces and was a titch awkward. i was at that odd stage with my siblings where we just did not get along. we did have a family dog named Dodger that was everybody’s, but I was ready for my pup, my own responsibility, my own best friend. after years and years of yearning for a dog (there was a brief period where I begged and pleaded for an orca to be raised in the bathtub. strange, but true), my parents gave in.
my mom and i drove to an animal shelter in Bartow County. it was a foster home of sorts, and the woman who ran it kept the sweet pups in a large basement room where they all mixed and mingled and were just waiting for someone to pick them up and care for them the rest of their days. of course I remember wanting every single one, but when I saw little august, i knew. his name was snickers at the time, and he was fluffy and sassy and he totally ran that foster home. he was going to be mine. i remember i was so nervous on the car ride home, sitting in the back of our sienna minivan knowing that he was nervous and hoping, dear lord, please just let this dog love me. within a day, the pup had successfully settled into his new digs, his name was August the Doggest, and he was my new best friend.
auggie was never the best trained dog. he had an affinity for peeing in the house, particularly on my twin brother’s clothes. he was spunky and sassy and 1000% the alpha dog. I loved every part of him. I loved that he let me dress him up in hats and scarves and even pants and tshirts. I loved that he hung out with me while I listened and danced to N’Sync on repeat. I loved that he was my friend when I didn’t have many. I loved that no matter how bad of a day I had, he was there waiting for me to get home and make me feel better. he was with me through my parent’s divorce and my mom getting through cancer. he was there when I graduated high school AND college. he was there when I tried to make sense of life post college (which I’ve realized will maybe never really make sense). he’s been a rock for my mom greeting her everyday after work and every morning. he’s been the most amazing dog our family could’ve ever asked for.
it is no understatement that i am animal person, and it’s something I say with plenty of pride. I LOVE dogs. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM. i honestly believe having a pet makes people better people. dogs in particular are unselfish creatures who have the ability to provide so much love and comfort without even saying a word. they never judge you. they’re never mad at you and if they are they forgive, forget, and kiss in the span .02 seconds. they’re rarely disappointed by you. auggie has been one of the purest forms of love i’ve ever had and i’m sure a lot of pet owners can understand that sentiment. I find myself looking at pictures of him and just weeping. i will never see him again and that seems so strange and awful. but I know my sadness exists because something great was lost. i also don’t think there is anything quite like the loss of your first dog or maybe i’m just saying that. all i know is that we must enjoy the time we have with our pets and love them to the fullest and know that when they go they experienced the best life possible because of us, their owners.
in my grieving, i’ve taken to my other comfort: baking. just like auggie, baking is always there for me and thankfully, it is also my job. no matter how bad a day, a week, or several weeks have been, i just keep on baking. the best recipe to emerge was this buttermilk chocolate coconut bread soaked in a coffee syrup (see recipe below). as i sit down to enjoy it right now with my orange tea, i can’t help but think that sweet little auggie is in a happier more comfortable place, and no doubt, he has surely been elected king of the squeaky toy kingdom. rip auggie, i love you forever.
buttermilk chocolate coconut bread w/ coffee syrup
adapted from bon appetit
1. preheat oven to 325, butter an 8x4 ” loaf pan, line with parchment, butter and flour parchment
2. whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl
3. with an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar until pale and fluffy about 5-7 minutes (do not srimp on time here). add eggs one at a time, beating in between each addition. beat until mixture is very light and increases in volume, about 6 minutes (again, don’t scrimp on time here)
4. reduce mixer to low and add dry mixture and buttermilk alternating starting with flour, then buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, and finally flour. mix just until incorporated. scrape batter into pan. drag a knife through the middle and top with tubinado + coconut flakes.
5. bake for 70-80 minutes, remove from oven and brush coffee syrup onto bread.
coffee syrup (i use this on most chocolate dishes as it brings out the chocolate flavor)
1. whisk together sugar and coffee till sugar is dissolved.
(from 11th grade, before a PDC dance, where i desperately wanted to take my dog and not my date)
if you’re like me and you woke up this morning cursing the weather man then this soup’s for you. to say the least, this weather is bringing me down. flat out, making me pissy. so i made the best of it and put on a pot of red lentil soup. it might possibly be one of the ugliest soups i’ve ever made, but in times like this when all i need is a little warmth and a a little wine, this soup definitely delivers. plus it only take 6-8 ingredients and if you don’t have all them, improvise… use rice instead of chick peas, green lentils instead of red, etc.
red lentil + chickpea soup w/ lemon, cilantro + greek yogurt
1. add lentils, chick peas, chopped onions, garlic, cumin seeds, ground cumin to chicken stock and water. heat over medium heat till boiling. cook for 20 minutes with lid secure until lentils are soft.
2. remove from heat, and pour into a blender. and puree until desired texture. i like mine with a little chunk to it, but you can puree it till it’s silkier than silk.
3. garnish with a dollop of yogurt, a little squeeze of lemon + chopped cilantro