DC wedding photographer | Amber Wilkie Photography » Photography for awesome people.

Category Archives: Stuff I Love

Stuff I love: Pinterest!

I haven't done a "stuff I love" post in a while (for more, see the category), so it's high time I talked about my hands-down favorite bookmark thing on the web: pinterest.  If you are a visual person (hello graphic designers, fashionistas, photographers), this is for you. screen shot of bookmarking program pinterest It works like this:  You are on a website with an awesome photo or a recipe you want to try or something you want to purchase.  You hit "pin it" (after you install the browser extension) and then you choose from available images on the page to "pin".  You write a short description, choose the "board" where the pin belongs, and hit enter.  Pinterest sends your note and image to your bookmark page and you go on browsing.  Later, when you want to review your photos/recipes, etc., you draw up your board and you can see everything laid out for you in a very visual display. This works really, really well for me to save inspiring photography or to keep notes about poses I want to try with my couples. example of pinterest board with wedding images In short, it's totally awesome. If you want to join, you might need an invite.  Just email me and I'll be happy to send you one!  And don't forget to follow my boards and such so I can follow you back! And because I love you, here is the one non-intuitive thing I can share about Pinterest that you might not figure out on your own:  If you highlight text on the page before you hit "pin it", it will automatically insert that text into the entry box.  Happy pinning!

View full post »

Stuff I love | Low-carb

I keep meaning to do a robust write-up on the little diet experiment I've been doing over the last two months or so.  But it's becoming clear that I'm either too lazy, busy or inept (or all three) to do that, so instead I'm just going to throw this blog post together and hope it's useful to someone.  Before I get into any specifics, I'll just go ahead and bold my conclusions: Low-carb diets work and they are not hard. I'm a very logical, data-oriented person, so I wanted to track all of this for myself.  I am floored by the clarity of my results and have impressed those I've shown these charts, so I'm going to put them here on my decidedly not-diet-related blog.  First, we have a chart showing my daily calorie and carbohydrate intake.  There's a crazy, surreal spike on the left side of the chart because I was trying this whacky Tim Ferris Four Hour Body thing.  It required one massive binging day and I really, really went for it.  I also did not lose any weight on that diet, as you will see.  The last week I haven't been very good about tracking and that's why everything is so low there on the last dot. On this chart here, we've got green is calories.  The point being that I made an effort to keep my calories high over the course of my low-carb experimentation.  You'll notice the green line stays pretty high throughout the chart.  Blue, however, is my carb intake and that is around normal in the left half of the chart and then sometime in late April, I cut my carbs. I didn't even cut them a crazy amount, as you can tell. Now check what happens to my weight.  Remember how I cut carbs at the end of April?  Well gee, that's about the time this chart goes from pretty level to precipitous dropoff.  It's starting to get a little less dramatic towards the end of the chart, there, but that's probably my own fault because I haven't been watching the carbs as much as previously, as you can see in the first chart. That is to say, I'm convinced that low-carb works.

What I eat and what I don't

I eat everything, really.  I read plenty of stuff online and off that said you're not supposed to touch white bread, whole wheat bread, sugar, fruit, starchy vegetables, not-as-starchy vegetables, peanut butter, etc. etc. etc. into infinity.  But I found that if you just watch it and try to eat just a little bit of carbs, everything just works out great.  Of all the "cheating" foods I eat, french fries probably top the list in terms of quantity.  It's easy for me to skip bread, cereal, pasta but I love fries.  Sugar cravings are way down since I started this.  Not eating as much sugar causes me to want it less.  I also feel satisfied with smaller amounts of desserts. This diet does require a hefty meat consumption and that is hard to square with ethical and environmental considerations.  I figure I will go back to a more plant-based diet when I have hit my goal (you can see it down at the bottom of the weight chart - the yellow dotted line of you-can-do-it).

Is it hard?

No, it's really not.  When fat became good and carbs bad, things kinda got flipped for me.  Now it was the bread I was using to scoop the spinach dip that I should avoid, not the spinach dip itself.  Yes, on this diet I have eaten spinach dip with a spoon.  All these things are good to eat and won't make you fat: cheese, nuts, oils, red meat, pepperoni, hot dogs, burgers without the bun, artichoke dip.  I cannot believe the things I have been eating and still losing weight.  I literally went to Rally's one day and ordered a bacon double cheeseburger and a chili cheesedog and ate both without their buns, guilt-free.

Reading materials

The book that started me down this road was Tim Ferris' Four Hour Body, but that's certainly not where I stopped.  Why we get fat and what to do about it is where the real gold is.  Gary Taubes examines a lot of the science we rely on to understand nutrition and finds it incredibly lacking.  He said fat doesn't make you fat, carbs do, so I set out to see if that's true.  And for me and my body, I'm having a hell of a good time finding out that he's right.

View full post »

Stuff I Love | Soren

Soren is my car.  But he's not just any car.  He is the only car I have ever owned, the car my parents and uncle bought me when I was only 16.  For me, Soren is the epitome of carness - he is what cars should be.  I drive him like a bus driver and I know exactly where his edges are.  There is no other place on earth that I have been with longer (I typed that not being sure that it's true - but yes, it is!  I lived in my first house for 9 years, the next one for another 9 and have been moving every few years since then.)  I have driven Soren for 11 years now. brenizer method car But this morning, Soren almost did not start.  He's been giving me some trouble starting up but normally turns over after a few clicks of the key.  Not this morning - it was a good five minutes of trying before he finally gave in and started up.  I'm sure whatever is wrong with him could be fixed.  The problem becomes this: how much money am I willing to put into this car?  He's into his second decade of life, longer than most cars make it.  I'm afraid to go find out the repair is going to be $500 or more.  Somewhere around there is my cutoff, at which point I have to give him up. I'll go and see what's wrong with him soon, but for now, I'll just say that I love my car.  I love him despite all his flaws (including that "character dent" on the left side - I did that on the way to my senior portraits in high school).  I love the "Who's your daddy" license plate frame I bought a few months after I got him.  I just love my car and I don't know that I will ever love another. PS: In case you're wondering about the image, it's a multiple-exposure "Brenizer method" image.  It was one of the first I tried and I obviously didn't take enough frames.  A fun technique anyway.

View full post »