snap happy

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This summer, I’ve managed to capture hundreds, if not thousands, of shots with my new camera. I’m still learning, in a big way, and realize everyday how truly talented great photographers are. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times–I am not a photographer, I just really enjoy taking pictures. With that in mind, I started a flickr account back in June (and promptly neglected it). Today I spent some time reviving it. I’ve added some of my favorite shots from this summer, for your viewing pleasure. Check it out, and visit again, because I will hopefully be updating on a regular basis.

>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/bethanyhway <<

styled shoot {backyard bachelorette luncheon}

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you will know that I’ve had my hands in a few collaborative projects during the past six months. In February, it was the Vintage Valentines inspired shoot which was featured on Style Me Pretty. Later that month I did the Shabby Sleek shoot for Nonpareil Magazine. In May I did another shoot for Nonpareil, in the form of a Marie Antoinette DIY dessert buffet.

When July rounded the bend, and it was time for another such project, this time a 1950′s inspired backyard luncheon. I teamed up with my fave photographer again, Emily Steffen, and three other amazingly talented ladies–Rachel Johnson, Dena Swenson and Maren Dalida. Together we dreamed up a backyard bachelorette luncheon with a retro twist. I styled, Emily shot, and Rachel, Dena and Maren coordinated food, papergoods, wardrobe and all the little details. It was a beautiful summer day, and we had a blast being creative together!

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The icing on the cake is that our little luncheon was featured on Wedding Chicks! Check it out, and if you’re itching to see more photos, click on over to Emily’s blog.

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Hairpieces and Jewelry – Heads Twogether |  Florals – Kissing Twolips  |  Wardrobe – Second hand and vintage  |  Styling – Bethany Hway |  Paper Elements – Dena Swenson and Rachel Johnson |  Macaroons – Sweets Bakeshop

in my closet {tuesday lunch meeting}

It’s been awhile since I put together an outfit for the In My Closet series. I love doing these things, and I’m not sure why it’s been so long. With summer drawing to a close, my thoughts are naturally turning towards my fall wardrobe. Scarfs, vests, layers, and warm textures–yum! We’re not quite there yet, but I promise regular style boards in the upcoming months. There are just too many great autumn looks not to do this on a regular basis.

The style I put together for today is based on my fashion fixation of the moment. Now that I am freelancing full time, my daily wear consists monstly of workout attire. I can’t bring myself to sit in pajamas all day, so I take it up a notch with yoga pants and casual cotton tees. Classy, I know. I do get out on occasion for meetings, lunch dates, networking events, and the like. For these outings, I like to wear something that is sophisticated, without going overboard. I work from home, so it would seem odd if I was dressed to the nines for a lunch date. I like my wardrobe to look natural, comfortable, and effortless. As such, finding the perfect outfits to blend that relaxed look with timeless style can be a challenge.

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This tweed vest is from Gap, and I actually just picked it up last week. I love the texture and detail. Pair with a basic white blouse, trouser jeans, and low leather pumps for a layered, lovely look. Add this large suede tote whose rich, dark gray fits perfectly with the subtle, monochromatic pallet. Complete the outfit with one simple, beautiful, statement-making piece of jewelery. I absolutely adore Lisa Leonard’s work, style and faith. Her oval monogram necklace on a long chain would perfectly accent this look.

Tweed Vest by Gap ($59.50) | Perfect Shirt by Gap ($49.50) | Trouser Jean by J. Crew ($108) | Suede Snap Tote by Lands’ End Canvas ($168) | Verstood Pump by Naturalizer at Piperlime ($79) | Oval Monogram Necklace by Lisa Leonard Designs ($64)

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disclaimer: Not all of these pieces are actually “in my closet”. I build these styleboards based on a look I like, using articles of clothing from stores that are accessible to most. I try to keep them affordable, but sometimes, I include splurge-worthy items. The point is not for everyone to go out and buy $100+ jeans, but to give you a guide for making the outfit out of pieces you already own, or can purchase for less if you’d like.

master bedroom blues

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One of my favorite rooms in our home is the master bedroom. It sits at the west end of the house, and has a dormer on either side. I love the light that streams in from the three windows, and I love how cozy and warm it feels. These photos of our bedroom were taken almost two years ago. While I’d like to say there is more art on the walls, or that we’ve added some clever items of decor, it’s pretty much the same. The room has great bones, is functional enough, and is very spacious, but it lacks personality. It also doesn’t feel very cohesive to me. Lately, a flurry of ideas for ways to improve this room have been filling my head.

Now that I have a bit more time to take on home projects and such, I’ve decided to tackle the master bedroom head-on. My plan is to work on it over the next few months, as I have the energy and resources. My goal is to have it wrapped up by mid-November.

Here are a few of the things I’m thinking:
- paint walls
- paint all trim and doors white
- find and hang new window treatments
- add reading corner with cozy chair and lamp
- find new lighting solutions
- build headboard
- buy/make new bedding
- find/make/hang wall art

My plan is to take on a little bit of this project at a time. Today, painting is on the agenda! I’ll keep you all up to date on how things are coming along, and will post process photos along the way. Have a great weekend, my dears!

wherein i become a hippie and make my own yogurt

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In my mind, making your own yogurt has always been one step above making your own deodorant, which is not very far from wearing patchouli oil and eating bread with hemp in it. Ok, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Let’s just sum it up by saying that I never thought I’d be one to jump on the organic-cultured-at-home-yogurt bandwagon. I’ve mentioned before that I have an appreciation for good food. Believe it or not, that appreciation actually extends beyond world-class pie, pizza and donuts. When I began to research the benefits of sugar-free eating, along with an overall tendency towards “clean eating”, and going more natural and organic, I immediately found that there are very, very few options for healthy, tasty and sugar-free yogurt. I checked Trader Joe’s and natural food co-ops, but consistently found options that were STILL loaded with sugar. My mom mentioned that she had a yogurt maker, and my curiosity was piqued. I started looking up recipes online, and found that many people make their own yogurt at home. Besides the health benefits, it also seems that it’s a budget-friendly practice. Bonus!

During my week up north, my mom and I made our first batch of yogurt. I’ve made it three times since, with success each time. The last batch was the best yet, with a smooth, creamy texture and a rich, delicious taste. The yogurt I make is plain. I add berries, golden flax and a bit of agave nectar for sweetness. It’s the perfect breakfast. I use a yogurt maker, but it is entirely possible to make your own yogurt without a fancy contraption. Below is the recipe I use, and directions for finishing the yogurt using a yogurt maker or a cooler. I’ve also included a couple other links that have some really helpful tips.

:: ingredients ::
1 quart milk
(I use fat free organic milk, but any type will do)
1 single serving container plain yogurt
(I use a fat free plain greek yogurt)

:: directions ::

1) Boil milk in a high-sided saucepan, for 1 to 2 minutes until the milk starts to climb the side of the pot. Do no stir the milk during this process. A skin will form on the bottom of the pan and it’s best to not scrape it up, unless you want strange chunks in your yogurt. While some choose to use a thermometer for this part of the process, heating to milk to a precise 180 degrees, I have found that just waiting until the milk begins to climb the pan works just great.

2) Remove the saucepan from heat and let the milk cool to a lukewarm temperature. If you’re like me, and slightly impatient, you may choose to use this simple method of speeding down the cooling process. Fill a larger pot with cold water and then carefull set the pot of milk in the cold water.

3) Once the milk is lukewarm, stir one cup of milk with the yogurt in a separate bowl until you have a smooth mixture.

4) Then add the rest of the milk to the bowl and stir very well until smooth. I use a large mixing bowl with a spout for this process. You’ll see why in a minute.

5) Next, pour the mixture into small glass jars. My mom’s yogurt maker comes with a set of 7, which are the perfect size for a single serving.

:: culturing the yogurt ::

If you have a yogurt maker, you will simply place the glass jars without lids into the maker, then cover, and set the timer to the number of hours desired. I have found that about 10.5 hours works best for making yogurt with skimmed milk. If you are using whole, 2% or 1%, the time you need to make the yogurt will be less.

If you don’t have a yogurt maker, you will need a cooler, a few towels and a couple pitchers of warm water. The premise is the same. Basically the yogurt needs a warm place for the live cultures to grow. With the non-electric method, you will simply set a few pitchers of warm water in a large cooler, and then tuck your yogurt in, using a few towels to keep the heat close. Since the heat isn’t as constant, you will likely need to leave your yogurt “cooking” for a longer period of time. Make sure to leave the yogurt be during this process, as any disturbing can effect the final product.

Once your yogurt has finishing culturing, you should place it in the refrigerator for about 3 hours so it can cool and firm up. Then taste and enjoy!

:: resources ::

Here are few other sites that have some great tips on making yogurt at home! Do you make your own yogurt (or cheese)? If so, I’d love to hear from you. I have much to learn in this arena, and any tips are appreciated. Also, if my directions leave you with any questions, feel free to pipe up and I will try to clarify or explain.

Frugal Granola – How to Make Yogurt
A Year of Slow Cooking – Crockpot Yogurt
Mahalo – How to Make Yogurt

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