Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Moodlifter - Clutch Me Close

*** The East Coast Creative contest is still going on, please go here and click on entry #200, you can click more than once if you really want to, and if you're feeling super generous take another second to click on entry #214 for my friend over at Gypsy Soul***

I promise things will begin to get back to normal posting around here, although there might be times when things pick up too much and posts will slow down again.  That's the unfortunate price for not being able to just be a full time photographer and blogger, a girl can dream though.  One thing that has not stopped during this little posting interlude, spring catalogs are flooding my mailbox.   It is depressing, I admit, to see the beautiful warm weather fashions and then step out the door to blistering cold wind.  However, I have noticed a fun, colorful trend this year that doesn't depend on the temperature, clutches!  I'm seeing them all over the catalogs, in fun bright styles.  Here are my five favorites of the moment, I hope they brighten your cold Monday!

Ann Taylor Envelope Clutch
I love the bright cobolt and aqua in this two tone clutch.  It's so cheery, if you're stuck wearing a boring black winter coat, at least you can carry this in your hand to stand out a little.

Ann Taylor Foldover Napa Leather Clutch
 I really enjoy foldover clutches, they seem to have more space than the envelope style.  This is a beautiful aqua color that could be a fun pop of color next to any other color you decide to wear.

LL Bean Signature Heritage Leather Clutch
 I know, you're thinking "LL Bean?", but yes.  If you haven't yet checked out their Signature Collection, you are missing out.  While not everything is my style, there are a number of lovely, quality pieces.  I have one of these Heritage clutches, although mine is a combination leather and denim (no longer available apparently).  I love this bright red leather, it has me thinking about 4th of July BBQs already.
GAP Leather Envelope Clutch
Despite being a bit of a girly girl, I actually don't love wearing a lot of pink.  I do enjoy a nice pink accessory though, and this neon clutch would be a perfect touch of pink.
Banana Republic Patent Clutch
 I saved the best for last, this is definitely my favorite of the bunch.  It looks like mint is going to be just as popular this year as it was in 2012, which I love.  It's a bright, fresh color, and this clutch combines it with patent leather, a to.die.for. combination in my book.

Are you just as ready for spring and warm weather as I am?  What are you most excited for when the season finally changes?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Following Dreams

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Yesterday was the last holiday until Memorial day comes in May, man that's a long stretch of no breaks.  Instead of quickly throwing a blog post together, I decided to use the day to relax a little, at least that was my original plan.  I started my morning by working on my photography website, I had set a deadline to have it ready to launch by this coming Friday.  I have been working on this website, and the blog component that goes with it for about 3 weeks now.  After an hour or two of work yesterday morning I looked it over and realized that it was done!  So, being the impatient person that I am I launched everything early yesterday afternoon.  Yes, Heather Raeburn Photography LLC is up and running!  It's a dream come true for me. 

I'm still scared and nervous about failing, but honestly I am also really proud of myself for trying.  I took the time to inventory my life and figure out what seemed to be missing, and rather than just sitting back and wishing, I've turned a big dream into a reality.  I am so excited to be on this journey now, I can't wait to see where it takes me.

If you are interested you can check out the website at  Also, Skillets.Sneakers.Style has it's own Facebook page, go like it to keep up to date with posts.

Also, don't forget to go over to East Coast Creative and click on entry #200 (you can do this more than once), and if you're feeling really into showing some blog love also give a click to entry #214 for my friend over at Gypsy Soul.

So now, I encourage all of you to figure out what you really want in life and then go make it happen!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Southwest Turkey Burgers

***Don't forget to go to East Coast Creative and click on entry number 200!  You can click more than once.***

The first time I ever tried making turkey burgers was honestly less than great, the burgers came out dry and tasteless.  I wanted a burger, but I wanted it to be light and lean.  So, not knowing what I was doing I just bought some ground turkey, and made simple burger patties out of it and cooked them in a pan on the stove top, exactly the way I would have cooked a ground beef burger.  That right there was the mistake, because turkey is so lean and needs to be cooked all the way through all of the fat cooks out long before it's done drying out the final product.  It was a long time before I was willing to try again, but eventually I searched around the Internet and realized I needed to find a way to add moisture and flavor and eventually I developed this recipe.

I know some people really don't like looking at raw poultry, especially in ground form so there aren't as many pictures with this recipe.  Also, you will notice sweet potato fries on the plate in the pictures, I am still perfecting that recipe so I'm not sharing it today, but eventually I will I promise.


1lb Ground Turkey Meat (I buy 99% lean)
1 Small Onion
2-3 Tbs Chunky Salsa (make sure it's a chunky kind and that it's fairly wet)
Chili Powder
2 Tbs Olive Oil

Step 1:
Dice the small onion.  Make a well in the center of the ground turkey, add the onion and salsa, mix together.  The mixture will be fairly mushy.  Form the mixture into patties, for 1lb of meat I make 4 patties.  Dust both sides of the patties with the chili powder.

Step 2:
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Once heated add the patties.  Cook on one side until sides begin to firm, flip.  Continue cooking for several minutes on each side and flipping.  To cook all the way through takes about 20-30 minutes.

Once done serve up and enjoy!!

Do you have a favorite turkey burger recipe?  Have you perfected sweet potato fries?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Happy Valentine's Day from Skillets.Sneakers.Style!!

Since today is all about showing love I'm going to ask you all to do me a little favor and show some love for me over at East Coast Creative.  I've entered the Creating with the Stars contest using my desk chair make-over as my entry.  They pick 12 contestants and pair each one up with a star blogger (please Sherry please!) and they all compete over 4 weeks to see who is the most creative, fun right!  One of these 12 contestants is chosen by popularity, so if you like this blog and if you were as impressed with that chair makeover as I was myself, please click here and scroll down to entry number 201 and just click on the entry, that's all you have to do!

Unfortunately because of the little post hiatus I had to take, I was not able to do a post of V-day gift ideas in time for it to be useful (so sorry).  However I figured the least I can do is give a few little shout outs to the sellers I purchased my gifts for my husband from.  Valentine's day is not a big deal in our house, we are definitely one of those couples that prefers small gestures throughout the year over large once in a while acts.  We don't completely ignore this day though, we just like to keep our gifts small and sweet or funny.  Maybe it's because I'm in the process of starting my own small business, but this year I decided to avoid the big name retailers and instead looked for special and unique items from small businesses.  Also being someone who prefers to shop online, Etsy became the perfect option to accomplish this goal.  I knew the theme of item I was looking for (we're opening presents tonight so I can't spill the beans quite yet), so I simply typed it into the search and scrolled through all of the items that popped up until I found the ones that spoke to me.


The first seller I came across that piqued my interest was KBPaperCreations.  She makes custom note pads, recipe cards, and paper mobiles.  While a lot of items in her shop lean towards the feminine side, she has a few that I knew would definitely appeal to my husband.  Since I don't want to spoil what I bought I'll share a couple of her other items I really enjoy, and with birthdays coming up these could turn into some more great gift ideas.

I'm at that point in life where friends are having babies left and right and this sweet little mobile, which comes in different colors would the perfect baby shower gift.

Paper Bird Mobile
I love cooking and finding new recipes but I have a horrible habit of writing them down on random scraps of paper that I stuff into a folder, cute recipes cards like these would go a long way to help improve my current system.

Hand Stamped Recipe Cards
The next seller I found that caught my eye was Minimalist Art by JWCDesigns.  According to his Etsy site he is based out of Portland, OR, which was a sign that I was meant to find his shop because despite living in DC the dream of the 90's is more than alive in our home.  Jason's art is amazing, he has combined classic fandom icons with stylish design.  In fact, I fell so in love with the set of prints I found that I was worried my husband might not like them, so I actually emailed the link to him to check.  Since he already knows what these are I'll go ahead and share with you too.

Star Trek Minimalist Prints
I know these aren't everyone's cup of tea, but my husband loves Star Trek and I love the simple design and colors used in the background.  Also they seem to be of pretty high quality for a really reasonable price.  Now the only question will be where to put them.


Lastly, I found the perfect letterpress card at DingbatPress.  I love letterpress and I love the quirky designs DingbatPress pairs with the style.  There are cards, prints and other cute items available with letterpress printed designs, including the cute print below (which is not what I purchased this time).

When You Know Letterpress Print

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?  Do you make it a big deal or do you keep it low key?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Perk - Flat Out

Yes!  The blog is back!!  I am not completely done preparing to open up my business, but I'm close enough that I can come back and restart the blogging!  So here's a Wednesday Perk post to start us back.  This past weekend I was at a lovely wedding.  I am lucky enough to have a few different dresses to rotate for weddings throughout the year, complete with shoes and accessories, making picking an outfit a snap.  So I picked out my chiffon wine colored dress, which I usually pair with cute deep purple, patent leather, peep toe heels.  Now, I'll be honest these are not necessarily the most comfortable heels, but I have worn them to many weddings before and managed to power through the night.  I don't know if my feet have changed too much (I have done 3 marathons after all) or what the problem was but I wore these shoes for the ceremony and was so grateful to have a little gap before the reception started because after only an hour or so it was clear my feet would not survive the night.  I was happy to rush back up to my hotel room and congratulated myself for being smart enough to toss my cute gold flats in my bag before leaving, my jewelry was gold so the flats were a perfect switch up.  While maybe not quite as cute as with the heels, no one noticed my change to flats and I was able to dance up a storm with no problem.  So in honor of my realization that heels are just becoming more and more of a pipe dream for my feet, here are some cute flats that will have you looking just as polished, but without the discomfort.

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Nine West Lilboger Flat

Normally I wouldn't gravitate towards a shoe like this, but there is something about these that I am in love with.  The colors seem to be just right.  I love the geometric design on the heel, and how from the front these shoes are so unassuming, but from the back you get a whole different perspective.  These are definitely being added to my spring shopping list.

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Nine West Kilianna Flat

This is the sweetest show I have seen in a long time, but it's done perfectly to keep it mature and not too girly.  I love the patent leather, and the modern looking bow, and the sling back is a fun and different detail.  If you have an Easter gathering coming up these would be perfect.

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Ralph Lauren Abigail II
I am madly in love with the leather detailing on these shoes.  I love the Cognac coloring, and the little golden buckle.  I would definitely pair these with my jeans for casual Fridays, and on weekends to help elevate my casual style.

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Michael Kors Jordana Ballet Flat
Once again, normally I would not expect to like a shoe like these, but there is something about this pair that has me drooling.  The red is a fun and bright pop of color.  To be completely honest though, I would probably remove the little tassel bow.  This is another pair that I would wear with jeans and casual skirts to add a little fun.
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Lucky Brand Peppy

I consider a metallic pair of flats to be an essential wardrobe item, I mean my gold ones saved me at the wedding, but I also just frequently wear them.  The right metallic color will go with anything that you are wearing, and can quickly elevate an outfit from super casual to classy casual.

Have any of you found that your feet don't last as long in heels anymore?  Did you just jump to wearing flats, or are you still trying to stick it out with the heels?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Taking A Leap

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First off, major apologies for last week.  We have a goal to have at least 3-4 posts a week, but ideally 5, and last week folks things just weren't happening.  First I (H) was still recovering from the flu, which was horrendous, and M has been extremely busy with work and a new four legged addition to her little family.  Additionally I have to confess that my focus has been directed at a different project I have in the works.  Since this project is going to be taking a lot of my time and energy away from the blog for the next few weeks I figure I owe it you all to share what it is.

To start I want to clarify that I love my day job, and I feel a lot of passion for the work that I do there.  It is beyond amazing to see something you worked so hard to create have a major and meaningful impact on people.  However, it's not all rainbows and sunshine, the industry I work in can eat a person alive.  It can be very demoralizing to spend potentially years devoted to a particular project and in the end watch someone else change all of the work you've done in a way you don't agree with, and yet have no power to change.  After more than 5 years in my industry people are shocked to see that I have somehow still managed to maintain so much optimism and passion, and they want to know how.  My secret is simple though, I leave work at work.  I've spent the past several years devoting my free time to various hobbies, figuring out what else I'm passionate about.  I have many hobbies, I crochet, knit, quilt, cook, DIY, and I adore photography.  I know the photography on the blog so far has been a bit lacking (a new lens should be helping that soon), but to be honest food and project photography are not my strong suit, I love people photography.  Over the past few years I have been doing more and more photography for friends, and this is where my new personal project comes in. 

I have day dreamed about starting my own photography business for awhile, but I've been very scared.  I've been scared that I'm not good enough, of putting myself out there publicly and potentially failing, and just plain scared that other people might see me start my business and laugh at me (crazy I know).  Luckily I have some amazing friends who have been beyond supportive and encouraging, and so yes I am announcing here and now that I am opening my own photography business!  I have registered an LLC for myself, procured my EIN, and will be obtaining my business license at the end of this week!  I am beyond excited about this little adventure, albeit still scared of failing.  I am not quitting my day job though, this will be something on the side just completely for myself, and I like it that way.  This arrangement a) allows me to maintain financial stability, and b) takes some of the pressure off.  If I only book 3 shoots this whole year, it's ok, I won't have to consider that failing, in fact I would call that a huge success.

So why, at 29, with a really good, stable job am I deciding to open my own side business?  Well, basically I don't want to look back on my life in 20 years and think "what if?"  Also, after a lot of introspection and soul searching I eventually realized that my fear of living an incomplete life outweighed my fear of failure, and ultimately that's what this adventure is about, living a complete life and being true to who I am.  I am finally proud to acknowledge that I consider myself a creative person, and if I don't indulge this part of myself I feel an emptiness.  I am tired of daydreaming and I feel ready to take action.  I know there will be bumps along the way, but I also feel confident now that any challenges will be well worth it.  I've also embraced the idea that if I do fail I will still have succeeded because I tried.

So I am now heavily focused on creating my business website and figuring out my branding, and this will take me a little bit of time to get in order.  I will still be posting to the blog, but potentially with a little less frequency for the next few weeks.  And once I launch I promise to include all of you readers in the announcement.  In the meantime, check out the wonderful logo my friend over at gypsysoul created for me!