2017 recap

Looking back on 2017

This is long overdue but better late than never. 2017 was hands down the best year of my life. In a nutshell, Jon and I traveled to 4 new countries and all over the US, which not only kept my travel bug in check, it brought us so much closer as a couple. I also had a wonderful year professionally and I’m so proud of Jon for earning his CPA back in August.  

Photography - I poured my heart into learning photography, and while I know I have a lot to learn, I underestimated how far I’d come. Since picking up photography as a hobby exactly 1 year ago, I’ve had 2 camera upgrades, taken thousands of awful pictures, I’ve sucessfully collaborated with handful of clients, made life-long friends, and am so happy to have a consistent creative outlet I truly enjoy. A few highlights were being featured in Just Us Gals ‘Who’s That Gal’ segment and shooting Maison Vernon for Chevron Partners

Travel - This year was certainly the year for travel. We ventured to Greece (Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, Hydra, Poros and Aegina), London, Barcelona, Canada, Portland Maine, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Big Sur, Buffalo NY, NYC. This probably isn’t a surprise, but Greece was by far my favorite place. 

Health and family - I think due to the political and social climate of our country, this year more than past years, I’ve realized how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing family and friends. I’m guilty of always wanting more and not being satisfied with what I have, but 2017 has made me slow down and realize what’s important. I want to continue to stay up to date with current events in our country and possibly get involved; something I’ve never had an interest in until recently. I also want to do a better job at expressing my love for family and friends so they never question my appreciation. 


Looking to 2018 

Photography - Now that I’m comfortable with my Sony ARii, it’s time to expand my camera collection. Jon’s parents found their vintage Canon AE-1 that they bought right after they got married 1981. They’ve so graciously given us the camera so I can bring it back to life. Learning analog photography really intimidates me, but I’m super excited to start playing with it. I’m also stoked to snag the Fujifilm XT2 for Jon (but also for myself hehe) so he can have a daily camera to travel with. I'm most excited about shooting more interior spaces and my first wedding in June! 

Travel - Looking toward the future, we’ve decided to travel less this year. With a few priority shifts, 5 weddings, and moving, we think its best to limit our traveling to two big trips. The first is a California coast road trip in April and either Hawaii or Tulum in September.  

Piano - I’ve always wanted to learn the piano, so when Santa got me the Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano for Christmas, I no longer had an excuse not to. Unfortunately there’s no space in our tiny Beacon Hill apartment so it’s stored away until we move into a bigger place later this year. I plan to learn via FlowKey

Moving - Speaking of moving to a bigger place, Jon and I are so excited to start making a little home of our own. Interior design has been a passion of mine since I was a kid — remember this Apartment Therapy Before and After article? All my photos can be found here. The idea of starting from scratch again puts the biggest smile on my face. We’ve decided to leave Beacon Hill and are heading for the South End this fall, which is seriously bittersweet but I’m ready for a change. 

Self care - The one area of 2017 that I’m really disappointed in myself is how poorly I took care of my own health. With my injury-prone body (thanks college sports), constant traveling and being in a comfortable relationship, I let my fitness go a substaintial amount. I know none of these are good excuses and I’m dedicated to making this year my best fitness year yet. I’d like to run a marathon (and beat my mom’s pace), but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, ha. I’ve always thought running the Chicago Marathon would be a good excuse to visit one of my favorite cities. 


I’d love to know some of your favorite 2017 memories and/or things you’re looking forward to in 2018. Feel free to leave a link to your website so I can check it out!

The article that finally convinced me to learn analog photography

Today I took the plunge into learning film photography. Here's what I bought. 

- Vintage Canon AE-1 Program 35mm SLR Camera Body
- Canon FD 50mm 1:1.8 Lens
- Canon FD 35mm F2 Lens
- Kodak Portra 400 Professional ISO 400, 35mm, 36 Exposures, Color Negative Film

"The Canon AE-1 Program is one of the most popular camera models of all time. It came out at a time when most of the features we now take for granted didn’t even exist, and it was one of the first cameras to include an automatic shooting mode, awkwardly called “Program” back in the day. This meant that regular users could produce extremely high-quality images by simply pointing the camera towards their subject and pressing the shutter release button. Unsurprisingly, Canon sold a kazillion of these during the 1980s, and even today it continues to be among the easiest models to find on eBay."

Read the full article here.

New York City memories

When: December 1st - 3rd, 2017
Stayed: The Frederick Hotel, Tribeca

- Brooklyn Bridge
- Oculus Train Station
- Soho; my favorite area to shop
- Chelsea Market

- Cafe Medi
- Edwards in Tribeca
- Ipuddo Westside


4 days in Barcelona

When: October 18th - October 22nd
Where: Barcelona, Spain
Stayed: Andante Hotel (A beautiful 3 star hotel with an amazing rooftop infinity pool. It was an easy 30 mins cab ride from Barcelona International Airport 'BCN'.) 
Instagram: #haninbarca2017  

Jon and I had been looking forward to visiting Barcelona since last spring. Jon has family ties in Barca and all my friends have told me I'd absolutely love it for years. While we had a wonderful time, truth be told, I didn't have a visceral connection to the city like I have others. It may have been due to the up and down weather, which kept us almost completely inside on day 2 (and made us miss our helicopter tour) or the political climate at the time, which we're told is the cause of all the graffiti. But even so, there are just some cities that touch your heart and others that don't.

I thought I would love Park Guell, but because of the construction, the weather and the amount of tourists, I found it very underwhelming. On the other hand, I thought La Sagrada Familia would be overrated, but found it to be one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen. Likewise with Casa Battlo. I underestimated how beautiful it would be inside! I was also so plesanstly surprised with how kind and happy everyone was, even with the current political climate. 



Day 1
- Overnight flight into Barcelona. Arrived at 8am.
- Explored the Las Ramblas neighborhood
- Had lunch inside the Mercado de La Boquiera
- Explored the El Gotic neighborhood

Day 2
- Took a walking, boat and helicopter tour via Get Your Guide. Our helicopter tour was canceled due to weather.
- Snacks at El Tropico. If you go, ask for Kat! She is wonderful. 

Day 3
- Park Guell tour at 9:00am
- Basilica of the Sagrada Familia tour at 11:15am. We also took the 'Nativity Tower Top Views' tour, which was awesome.
- Explored El Born neighborhood. This was Jon and my favorite neighborhood in the city!
- Picasso Museum

Day 4
- Breakfast at the beautiful Cotton Hotel
- Casa Battlo 'Be the first one's there' tour at 8:30am. I highly recommend getting up early for this. You have so much more space to walk around and explore. When we were leaving, it was SO crowded.
- Lunch at El National. This place is seriously interior design goals. 
- Bogatell Beach. I wish we spent more time here. It was so so so beautiful and lively. 

Day 5
- Breakfast and an early flight home to the US