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Just a heads up… Over the next couple of weeks my blog will be transitioning from anowlsnest.com to thelittlestbee.com.

It’d be wonderful for this to happen seamlessly and for anowlsnest.com to redirect you there but, alas, things aren’t lining up quite right in the process.

Anowlsnest.com is set to expire and you’ll be able to view this same blog at anowlsnest.wordpress.com. As soon as thelittlestbee.com is totally ready to go I’ll post here again.

:)

Almost two weeks ago I photographed a very intimate wedding at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

 Both the bride and groom flew in from out of state for their wedding day which made their wedding day the first day I met them! I typically prefer to schedule a face to face meeting with my wedding clients before their wedding and at their venue, if possible. But when working with out of state clients this, of course, is rarely possible.

I toured the venue the day before with the wedding coordinator so I knew that two other weddings were taking place there on the same day but when I spotted the bride I was sure she was the one. :)

We introduced each other and got to work – our time together was short and the weather wasn’t overly conducive to a bride in a wedding dress.

 Here are a few of my favorites:

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There is a big fountain on the Center grounds and just as we headed over there for photos the sun came out from behind the clouds. We eventually found ourselves in a decent lighting situation but the wind was blowing sprinkles on us from the fountain. It made for a few neat photos. :)

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These were possibly the only few trees left with trees in all of the Twin Cities metro area.

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The bride made genealogy trees for both herself and the groom.  During the ceremony their mothers were asked to come up and place them on the mantel.

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The ceremony was quick, to the point, emotional, and quite entertaining.  :)

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They literally tied the knot. :)

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And sealed it with a kiss!

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Congratulations!!  :)

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I repinned a recipe for coconut bars a while back. We’ve been low on interesting snack these days so I wanted to give them a try. All I needed to buy was shredded coconut, so that was easy. As I was gathering what I needed I decided to take it a step further and do a little experimenting with the great season of fall in mind.

You’ll need:
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup agave syrup (you could do 1/4 of one, or use water and stevia, but I like this combo this best)
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until blended and smooth (the coconut will still be a little chunky)

If you want to make it thin, more like a holiday bark, and make a lot of pieces:
Plop it down on a piece of parchment paper, smooth it out until it’s between 1/4 and 1/2 inches thick with your hands, cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour and then cut with a pizza cutter into whatever shape you desire.

If you want fewer but thicker bars:
Plop it into a square or rectangular container – a baking pan or a food storage container works, smooth it out, cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour and then cut with a knife into whatever shape you desire.

The bars cannot be left out of the refrigerator for too long, especially in warmer climates or homes. The ingredients are held together by the coconut oil which hardens when cooled. Thus the bars become a little squishy when warmed up.

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This post brought to you by No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

If you know me in person you may have noticed that I often wear dresses.  As cooler weather approaches, as it is now, I add another piece to my wardrobe – tights.  I also like to wear tights rather than have bare legs when I'm photographing a wedding or event while wearing a dress or skirt.  I wear a lot of solid colors and a lot of black and grey and it's really nice to have bright colored tights and/or a sweater for color.

I received a pair each of No nonsense tights and leggings.  This is what I did with them:

I'll start with the leggings.  Unfortunately I didn't love them and Tyler didn't either.  They're really comfortable and I'll certainly wear them around the house but they don't pass for cords well enough… I would rather just buy corduroy pants.  The horizontal corduroy pattern is actually rather subtle so when you're far away from someone wearing them you can't really tell, they appear to be more like velour pants from 2001 and that is certainly not at all what I'm going for.  They're also a little loose on me but that isn't surprising given the sizing recommendation:  S (4-6) M (8-10) L (12-14) XL (16-18).  So I'd say if you're smaller than a 4 probably avoid these.  I would also suggest a different color.. there is something strangely iridescent about this fabric and color that adds to the velour-ness.  But, like I said, they are super comfortable.  I think I prefer them as around the house pants a lot more than regular leggings as they appear more pant-like.  So if people pop over unannounced I don't feel as… exposed.

The tights are great.  They fit well and seem really really durable, which is important to me – I'm either on the floor and have a child climbing on me or I'm on the floor and climbing around while photographing something.  The tights didn't get stretched out or form any pills.The sizing for tights goes by heigh and weight.  I typically don't fit a size for tights as my weight is usually "small" and my height is "medium" but these worked.  I typically find myself pulling tights up so the crotch isn't saggy or walking around with my tights flapping in the wind.  Not cool.  The sizing recommendations are as follows: S (4'11"-5'8" 100-150lbs) M (5'3"-6' 120-170lbs) L (5'2"-6' 165-200lbs) XL (5'2"-6' 205-250lbs) XXL (5'2"-6' 255-300lbs).

I always remember No nonsense as being the kind of weird brand that would save me in high school when I suddenly needed nylons for something or mine had a hole.  They were always available at basically any food/drug store as well as larger stores so it was always easy to find some if needed.  The great thing is they've updated themselves and offer this neat colors and leggings and are still available in the same convenient locations.  

And just as they were a great and affordable option for frazzled high school me.. they still are an easy to find and affordable option for frazzled mom me.

No nonsense has teamed up with Jill Martin to share style ideas and tips to consumers.  She is stylish and modern and can relate to a lady like myself.  She will be featured in vignettes online that will showcase No nonsense colored tights and leggings along with tips on how to incorporate them into the latest style trends.  I'd be interested to see what she could do with these khaki corduroy leggings.  I could totally just be missing something.

Don't forget to check out No nonsense on Facebook and follow them via Twitter!

 

 

 

 

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This post brought to you by Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Honestly I have never been to a Famous Footwear. I have always lived relatively close to a Payless shoe store when I've been in need of cheap shoes (which is basically any time I need shoes).  That doesn't mean I think less of Famous Footwear, honestly I don't even know much about them.  My history with them has been purely based on chance.

I know I currently do not live near to a Payless so it's possible that Famous Footwear is more convenient.  I'll have to check it out soon because there is a Buy One Get One half off back-to-school promotion with an additional 15% off of that.  I was just telling Tyler today that Olive will probably need some shoes between her fancy Striderite Mary Janes and her Saucony gym shoes.  In addition to some dress type shoes for the fall and winter.  I can't pass up a BOGO plus 15% off.  :)  Be sure to print the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon and redeem it now through August 18th.

I peeked at Famous Footwear's website and they certianly have a wide array of styles to choose from.  They can even help you order the shoes you want if you can't find them in store.  They can be shipped to your home or to the store for a store pick-up at no charge.

Famous Footwear also offers a free rewards program that can give you awesome perks like a discount offer when you sign up, special discounts and perks, and accumulating a point for every $1 spent which can be redeemed for certificates.

I don't know about you but I'll be adding this sale to my to do list over the next week or so.  :)

 

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This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever had an office job?  Maybe back in high school or in college?  I did.  And I fondly remember AstroBrights papers.  I always enjoyed when I was able to make choices about which color to print something on.  I would also often save scraps and use them for personal notes or crafts.

I didn't realize… AstroBrights comes in 23 different colors!  I assume you can find the perfect color for your flyer, presentation, or craft project.  They make it pretty easy to be creative, have fun, and make your project look good.  

As you probably know we're right in the middle of the "back to school" season – school supplies are on sale, clothing stores are advertising must have outfits that your children, and teachers are gearing up for the fall!  You can help your local teachers at your local elementary school by entering the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes.  Your school can win a bunch of school supplies valued at $30,000!  And you can also win a cash prize!

Keeping in line with back to school season AstroBrights is hosting a family-friendly design challenge. Make sure to harness all of your family's creativity and enter the "Make Something AstroBright" challenge.  Share photos and videos of your project and make sure to use the hashtag #goastrobrights if you share your creation on Pinterest or Twitter.  You can win AstroBrights paper and other awesome prizes.  

I actually think I have a couple of stacks of AstroBrights paper in my craft room.  If I get a chance I'll get Olive to work and we'll share with you what we made!

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I don’t have much time to say much of anything about this…

But please watch this video and vote for it.

Wirth Community Co-op is seeking funds to finally start a co-op in my neighborhood – in north Minneapolis. The twin cities are filled with co-ops but good food, and many other things, are severely lacking in north Minneapolis. People need better options than corner stores with sodas, twinkies, and people selling drugs out front. So please please take a moment to watch and visit this website.

Thanks!

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