Portrait Session: Austin Blogger Jane Ko

Portrait Session: Jane Ko

One of my girl crushes and heroes in Austin is someone you probably already follow if you live in Austin. Jane of A Taste of Koko writes a very popular food blog. Funnily, sometimes strangers will stop me when I’m out and about, commending me for my food blog and praising me for my work. I let myself be flattered and touched and then the stranger will say something like, “bye Jane!” It cracks me up and I ain’t mad about it!

It has been fun and inspiring to see her soar through her career as a blogger and influencer. I enjoyed catching up with her as I photographed her in her bright and airy home. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her and her journey!

Portrait Session: Jane Ko

Portrait Session: Jane Ko

Portrait Session: Jane Ko

Portrait Session: Jane Ko

You can see more of my work on my photography site. If you live in Austin, San Antonio, or Houston and wish to have your portrait taken, please email me at linda@curious-notions.net. I’d love to hear from you!

Portrait Session: Baby Aubrey and Her Many Faces

Austin Baby Photography

Austin Family and Baby Session

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting baby Aubrey when her proud grandfather and my friend Doug, hired me to shoot holiday photos. I was touched to spend time with a family with so much love for each other. It didn’t take long to see that the family dotes on Aubrey. I can’t imagine it any other way since I fell in love with her happy disposition instantly. She gave me the best facial expressions and was a dream to photograph.

Austin Baby Photography

Austin Baby Photography

Austin Baby Photography

Austin Baby Photography

Austin Baby Photography

aAustin Baby Photography

You can see more of my work on my photography site. If you’re interested in scheduling a session yourself, I invite you to email me! linda@curious-notions.net

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Hello friends! Happy almost November! Are you ready for November? Are you panicking like I am? I had so much I wanted to do this year and still a lot of it left to accomplish! Oy. So this weekend I plan on catching my breath with Sugarface and doing something that makes us happy. Maybe a hike with the dogs? And I have a barbecue festival to attend. The joys of being a food blogger! What do you have going on this weekend? What have you been reading?

It’s been a bit since my last link round-up of Internet pieces that made me feel feelings. Some of these links I’ve had in my pocket for a few weeks. Enjoy and happy Friyay!

  • How to be a writer.
  • I finished a few good books since the last round-up. Goldfinch was an great read.
  • When Breath Becomes Air and Blankets were also enjoyable reads.
  • I started reading The Nest and Love Warrior this week.
  • There’s been a lot of race thoughts and discussions amongst my circle. There’s this open letter. And our podcast discussed Code Switch, an NPR podcast. (episode isn’t live yet).
  • Ruth Bader’s Ginsburgs advice for living.
  • At every stage of life, you should be a rookie at something.”
  • Dear Michelle Obama

  • Roxanne Gay’s 13 rules for Female Friendship.
  • Kim Kardashian, Elena Ferrante, and the right to privacy.
  • I liked some of these tips about working for yourself.
  • Best Jobs for your personality type. This was uncanny for some of the people in my life.
  • Ultra Rich Man’s letter to his fellow filthy rich Americans.
  • Personal Plugs

  • A few weeks ago we celebrated 50 episodes of I Feel Better Podcast by recording live! You can see the Youtube replay here.
  • I wrote about this awesome boozy ice cream place in Austin.

  • I shared a recipe for Chorizo Quiche with Hash Brown Crust.

  • I also recapped Toronto.

  • Did you see my first newborn photography shoot?
  • Newborn Photography Session: Reyansh

    My Introduction to Newborn Photography

    When my beautiful friend Soujanya approached me about doing a newborn photography session with her son, Reyansh, I was honored, thrilled, and nervous. I’ve never shot a newborn before! The night before the early morning session, I was so nervous I couldn’t sleep. As soon as I arrived at Soujanya’s and her husband Deepak’s home, all the nerves melted away and we entered a state of flow. With patience and teamwork, the four of us, with some support from doting grandparents, were able to capture some precious moments. Baby Reyansh and his adoring family were a dream to capture. I left inspired by their images and grateful they took a chance on me. Soujanya reported she loves them so much she cried. What a relief! Here are some of my favorite shots.

    Newborn Photography

    soujanya-33

    Newborn Photography

    soujanya-17

    Newborn Photography

    Newborn Photography

    Newborn Photography

    Newborn Photography

    Newborn Photography

    Newborn Photography

    You can see more of my work on my photography site.

    Weekend in Toronto

    Weekend in Toronto

    I squeezed in a baby trip to Toronto a couple of weeks ago. Sugarface was there for work and even though I couldn’t visit long, I indulged and joined him for just under 48 hours. I worried about whether it was worth the expenditure for such a short trip, but now I know I don’t regret it and would do it again! We stayed downtown and mostly kept our exploring within walking distance from our hotel. Downtown Toronto was just teeming with restaurants. We ate so well but most exciting to me was that we had poutine. I have been to Canada and have eaten poutine but I’ve never eaten poutine in Canada! (Read more about our delicious meals on my food blog.)

    Aside from all the eating, we also walked by the CN Tower, visited Ripley’s Aquarium, where we were mesmerized by eels and jellyfish, and explored Graffiti Alley. During our first night there, I met an internet friend whom I’ve known for almost 6 years. I like how being a blogger has made it possible for me to have friends around the world. I’m also glad I can add Toronto to my adventures with Sugarface. We’ve only been on two international trips together, the first one not too long ago, and each time it becomes clearer how much I love having him by my side when I explore this world.

    So that concludes my weekend recap in Toronto. I already miss it and want to go back. If I ever make it back, I’m definitely going to plan for a day trip to Niagara Falls! Have you ever been to Toronto?

    Weekend in Toronto

    Weekend in Toronto

    Weekend in Toronto

    Friday Feels

    Friday Feels

    Welcome to fall everyone! This weekend I’m hanging out with Sugarface and his mom at Austin City Limits. I haven’t been to ACL in 9 years; so I’m excited to enjoy the cooler weather outside with a couple of my favorite humans. Here’s this week’s list of links that made me feel things. How are you spending your weekend? What have you been reading and watching?

  • I can read and watch dog articles and videos all day. This one is about a smiley rescue.
  • Fascinating read about 5 Love Languages. “The longer you are with someone, the larger the space grows between what you think he or she is thinking and what he or she is actually thinking.”

  • How to tell a mother her child died.
  • Kids say the darnest things.
  • The first act of the ‘One Last Thing Before I Go’ episode on This American Life made me cry.

  • I started this graphic novel this week and cannot wait to have some time to dive back in.
  • I want to make this.

  • Around the world in pancakes.

  • These glitter pens have been making me happy.
  • On mentors and how “to be the person for other people that I want for myself.”
  • Personal Plugs

  • Our latest episode of I Feel Better was about Bridget Jones’s Baby and self-help books.
  • I wrote a piece about one of my favorite restaurants in Austin for Austin Food Magazine.
  • I recapped all the meals I had in Toronto on my food blog.
  • Visit Toronto: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    I haven’t finished blogging about Spain, (which I can’t believe was already a month ago), but I just came back from another trip, this one a mini one compared to Spain. Sugarface had a work meeting in Toronto and I joined him for the weekend. Two days were only enough to whet the appetite. I plan on writing a weekend recap, but I had a handful of photos from the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada I wanted to share and thought it deserved its own photographic post.

    It rained all day on Saturday. Staying dry in an aquarium was the perfect rainy day activity! Ripley’s is a moderate size aquarium with a wide array of sea creatures. Most impressive were the long shark tunnel and the jellyfish room, both magnificent in their own way. It’s also located adjacent to the CN Tower, so you can batch those two sights together when you’re in town. We enjoyed watching the piranhas feed on shrimp and the eels being feisty. I included the video of the latter at the end of this post. If you have your sound on, you can hear the bystander’s Canadian accent, which made me smile.

    Later that night, back at our hotel room, we rewatched the “Under the Sea” scene of Little Mermaid. Because of course.

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

    Friday Feels

    Friday Feels

    Hello! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared some of my internet finds that made me feel feelings. The last couple of weeks have been a bit busy work wise for me. Is it just me or is this year going by so fast? Is this just a sign of being older? The acute realization that there will never be enough time? Well, I hope you take some time this weekend to breathe and look at your life with gratitude. Enjoy this week’s Friday Feels!

  • Reading about some of these acts of kindness brought tears to my eyes.
  • An engaging (pun!) read about how people who lean on rational can make their decisions about marriage.

  • Funny customer complaints. I laughed out loud at the dog shampoo one.

  • I think the world could be a better place if this was required reading.

  • I have major wanderlust for Japan. It might be a couple of years but I will continue to dream.
  • How to get started.
  • Why Alicia Keys isn’t wearing makeup.
  • Photo Editors’ Notebook: What makes the image of Omran Daqneesh Extraordinary?
  • We talked about this sort of thing a couple of episodes ago on our podcast.
  • 50 ways happier healthier and more successful people live on theit own terms. I might have already shared but still great, even if I can never do the first thing on the list.
  • Mothers aren’t meant to bounce back after babies.
  • Personal Plugs

  • I started blogging Barcelona eats a couple of weeks ago on the food blog.

  • I started yet another instagram account. It just now made sense to pull out my portraits from my main account.

  • Latest episode of I Feel Better is about Stranger Things and Genre Fiction vs. Literary Fiction.
  • 10 Facts About the Sagrada Familia

    Sagrada Familia

    Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
    http://www.sagradafamilia.org

    I had only one site in mind for my trip to Barcelona way before I started planning and fleshing out our itinerary and it was the Sagrada Familia. I knew it is glorious from the photos I’ve seen but seeing it in person still took my breath away. Sugarface and I spent an afternoon there listening to the audio tour and detail hunting. The abundant intricacies and majestic grandeur were a feast for the eyes. If you only see one thing in Barcelona, make it the Sagrada Familia! Here’s a list of ten facts to further entice you.

    10 Facts about the Sagrada Familia


    1. This cathedral is regarded as Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece. He spent about 40 years designing and building the Sagrada Familia. It’s scheduled to be finished in ten years, around the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi’s death. (Many are skeptical about this deadline being met but I am optimistic!)

    2. The first stone was laid in 1882.

    3. Gaudí lived on site and dedicated the last years of his life to this project. He was unpaid!
    4. Only the apse, crypt, and the Eastern facade dedicated to the Nativity were completed before he died. I learned what an apse is with the audio tour; it’s an semicircular recess covered with a semi-dome.

    5. Gaudí was hit by a tram and due to his shabby dress and lack of paper identifications, the hospital mistook him for a beggar and neglected care. He died three days later.

    6. He was buried in the crypt in the cathedral.

    7. After his death, his assistant Domènec Sugrañes took over for 12 years. Since then a handful of architects and sculptors have collaborated on the finishing of this project, some of whom worked closely with Gaudí.

    8. Construction was and still is funded by visitors and donators.

    9. Occasionally, masses are held at the cathedral, but it is invite only. You can stalk the website for details on how to acquire invitations once there’s a mass scheduled.

    10. Their Twitter account gives frequent updates on the construction and also provides more fun facts!
    11. Sources for my list of fun facts: multiple guidebooks, the Sagrada website, the audio tour onsite, and our fun bike tour guide from Fat Tire Tours.

    Sagrada Familia

    Visiting Tips


    • Buy tickets online to save time from waiting in long lines.
    • Access to towers and spiral staircases are not included with general admission. We learned this the sad way.

    • You can buy discounted combined tickets if you purchase admission to both the Sagrada and Casa Museu Gaudí, located adjacent to another famous Gaudí creation, the Park Güell.

    The following shots are from Sugarface’s phone camera!

    Sagrada Familia

    Sagrada Familia

    Sagrada Familia

    Sagrada Familia

    Sagrada Familia

    Sagrada Familia

    20160809_163425


    Tell me about your favorite historic site!

    July On & Off Instagram

    So much has happened in August that I almost forgot how wonderful July was too. I spent the first few days of the month with Sugarface and our dogs visiting his family (which also included 3 other dogs) in Arkansas. I’ve adored his family immediately upon meeting them last year but also come to relish all the time we spend visiting them in their home state. It’s pretty and serene and even the lack of cell service was a welcomed reprieve. I saw the stars, a vision I don’t get in my everyday urban life, enjoyed being both in and on the blue lake water, and laughed at our silly dogs. Bob the dog, as far as I know had never been on a boat or in Arkansas and he took to the lifestyle.

    We came back to Austin and commemorated being together a year and a half by eating at Barley Swine. And immediately after that celebration and just a week after our trip to Arkansas, I went on another weekend trip to Houston, where I dropped off Bob at his grandparents’ so I could travel to Spain later in August. In Houston, my good friend and photographer Thomas and I crossed off a Houston photography bucket list item and visited the gorgeous BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple.

    Speaking of photography, I shot another portrait session of an old friend of mine and then decided to take a leap and against my financial judgement, splurged and bought myself a photography website.

    The rest of July was spent eating a lot of ice cream and seeking out green tea desserts. My friend Jennifer tormented me with photos of her green tea parfaits on her social feeds. So when my friend Michelle asked where she could treat me for my birthday, I said I wanted the only green tea parfait in town I knew of, the one at Kome. She so sweetly obliged me and it was such a fun-filled evening. We requested the parfait to come during dinner instead of the end and it had us laughing like children. We then followed that meal by walking across the parking lot to a famed and classic donut shop, Mrs. Johnsons’ Donuts, where Michelle had her first fresh from the fryer donut.

    That green tea parfait only inflamed my green tea dessert craving. I went to a couple of more places and still have green tea dessert friendship dates on the calendar. I celebrated and shared my birthday at the end of the month with Neva the dog. On the day of, I lunched with one of my besties during work hours, had another ice cream date, treated Neva to a cheeseburger after her birthday shoot, and Sugarface and I ate one of our favorite things, noodles. He made me feel very special when I came home to pink purple roses and a book he saw I was ogling back in May. Among some of kind surprises received from afar was a funny and beautifully shot cookbook by Chrissy Teigen.


    And that was my sweet July. How was yours? What did you do for the Fourth?

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    July On & Off Instagram

    Follow along on instagram: @curiousnotions, @bobthedogatx, @doodlesaboutfeelings