Boston: Part VII

Our last night, we treated ourselves to a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park against the Detroit Tigers! While the stadium was a bit¬†old and the seating cramped for Luke, it was still an amazing experience. After a 45 minute rain delay, the Red Sox ended up losing in a pitcher’s duel 1-0.
Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-28Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-29After the game, around 11:30pm, as we were walking home, we passed St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine. We had wanted to stop in there so I decided to see if it was still open and it was! We later learned that it is the only place in the city with 24/7 Eucharistic Adoration. It was a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city.Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-41

Boston: Part VI

Samuel Adams Brewery was definitely on our list of things to do while in Boston. I can’t actually drink beer since I have to be gluten free (thank you, Celiac Disease)¬†but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the tour…and it certainly didn’t stop Luke from enjoying the beer! The tour was free (they just take donations) and we got to learn all about how they make the beer as well as their new products. Afterwards everyone was able to sample 4 different beers which included a Boston Lager.

Boston: Part V

One afternoon we decided to head over to Cambridge and check out Harvard. I have to say, I wasn’t that impressed with the Harvard grounds but it was still pretty neat to see. We walked around and then grabbed some ice cream at Churn, a¬†little ice-cream truck that makes fresh ice-cream¬†daily! They¬†were offering two flavors, strawberry and mint chocolate chip. I went with strawberry. It reminded me of our first year of marriage when we would make home made strawberry ice-cream at least once a week and eat it with home made popcorn while watching Murder She Wrote. Good times!

While Harvard was nice, we were a little disappointed that a Church built in the mid 1700s had been converted into a cafeteria…I snapped a picture of it when we peaked inside.Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-13Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-14After walking around the grounds, we settled on a quaint French restaurant for dinner, Sandrines Bistro. This was by far, my favorite meal of our trip! Maybe it was the romantic window seat, or the fact that I had a glass of wine for the first time in over a year, whatever it was, it was delicious and we really enjoyed it.Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-15Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-16

Boston: Part IV

We had a whole list of things to do while in Boston and one of those things was visiting Boston Public Garden. One gorgeous afternoon we headed down there for a walk and it was absolutely beautiful. I think the pictures speak for themselves!
Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-5Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-7Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-8Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-9Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-10Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-11Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-12That evening we headed over to Beacon Hill and had dinner at The Paramount. After dinner we stopped for some authentic italian ice-cream on the way home.Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-40

Boston: Part III

While we were there we wanted to see as much of the history as possible. We headed to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. It was amazing to see the place where our country’s forefathers first debated separating from England. Looking at the large paintings and stage, you could imagine standing there with Sam Adams and expressing your outrage over ‘taxation without representation.’ We also learned how the colonists would test someone if they thought he was a British spy. They asked them “What sits atop Faneuil Hall?” ¬†See below if you can tell what it is… (Hint, its not a flag!)¬†Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-37Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-38Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-18Those who answered ‘a grasshopper’ have authenticated their American status! After we saw Faneuil Hall and listened to the tour guide talk about freedom, we headed over to the North End¬†to grab some¬†food from one of the 200+ Italian restaurants. It was hard to choose but we went with La Famiglia Giorgio’s a quaint little restaurant that offered gluten free noodles. The food was delicious and our portions were gigantic! I got a simple spaghetti and Luke got a sampler of 4 different dishes.Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-39

Another¬†thing we wanted to do while in Boston was the Freedom Trail. It was hard to find time for this¬†in-between my conference sessions but we finally found time on our last day. As we were crossing the street to the tour both Luke and I noticed a Franciscan and as we looked closer we both noticed who it was and exclaimed¬†“Fr. Rick!” ¬†Fr. Rick was a Franciscan at Franciscan University when we were there. He is from Boston and has since been moved back up there to his home parish. It was fun seeing a familiar face! We had a quick chat and he gave us an awesome blessing. We love Franciscans!

We were a little early for our tour so we sat on a park bench and enjoyed the weather. We also caught a squirrel grabbing a drink of water. He was cracking us up!2014-12-05-Boston-94

Our tour guide was great and took us all over Boston. Among other things, we saw where a number of founding Fathers were buried including John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere. Seeing a bar across the street we heard it was the only place you can sit and drink a cold Sam Adams while staring at a cold Sam Adams, ha! We also saw where the so-called Boston Massacre took place and heard how it wasn’t really a massacre. While five US citizens died, including a small boy, ¬†the citizens of Boston actually started it after accusing a British soldier of not paying his bill to a local wigmaker. We learned that Sam Adams even laid the victims in his own family’s grave in an effort to encourage the Bostonians to break away from England.

Boston: Part II

After a¬†co-worker told me about the Boston¬†Duck Tours,¬†a bus that takes you all around the city and into the water, we decided to take the¬†tour our first day together so that we could get a nice overview of the city. That morning we woke up to some pretty cold weather (at least for us Floridians!) The temperature had dropped into the 40’s and 50’s and it was drizzling. Not the best day to take a duck tour but despite the weather conditions, we still had a fun time. The tour guide was really great and gave us all sorts of fun historical info and riding a bus into the water was pretty cool!¬†Because of the weather, everyone closed the windows on the bus, so I wasn’t able to get too many pictures. I managed to take one of the Massachusetts State House (with real gold on top!) and one of another bus in the water. We were on a yellow duck, which I found really fittingūüôā
Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-3Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-34After the tour we headed over to Wichit, a sandwich shop that had gluten free bread, and then we meandered around a little bit before I had to head back for another session. We found a Farmer’s Market right outside of Trinity Church¬†and one of the stands, White Lion Baking Company, had gluten free goodies…so I bought a cupcake. Yum!Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-35Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-36Later that evening we had dinner at a Mexican Restaurant, Zocalo…and it was delish! The guacamole was so yummy!¬†We found a mirrored building¬†on the walk home and took a selfie or a couple-ie?ūüôāBoston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-30

Boston: Part I

Last month I had an opportunity to take a trip to Boston to attend the HOW Design Live Conference. My company flew¬†myself and a co-worker there to spend a week¬†getting our creative juices flowing. I¬†was also able to attend this conference last year in San Francisco. I feel really blessed that my company encourages us to attend at least a couple conferences a year¬†and I was super excited that this particular conference was taking place in Boston this year.¬†I hadn’t been to Boston since I was a teen so I was looking forward to exploring the city in my down time. Luke¬†didn’t want to miss out so he joined me and we had a blast!

We stayed at the Marriot Copley Place¬†and it was a great location. We were really within walking distance of everything! The hotel was even connected to the convention¬†center so I didn’t even have to leave our hotel to get there.

I flew up on Sunday evening and Luke joined me Monday evening. It wasn’t until we had been there a couple days that¬†Luke said he was going to look for St. Francis Chapel. He had heard it was close to where we were staying. So as Luke was walking me to the convention center one morning,¬†he simultaneously had the GPS pulled up on his phone so he could see how close it was to St. Francis Chapel. We got to the center and Luke said “It looks like it’s really close to here!” and that’s when we noticed it was literally right next door to the convention center. How funny! I went to a conference session and Luke went to Mass. When I returned from my session Luke had run into some friends from Franciscan University at Mass who are now FOCUS missionaries at MIT and Boston College. Small world!

Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-1Below is the¬†view from out hotel room. We had an awesome corner room with two huge windows! I’ve also included some¬†pictures as I explored the area near our hotel before Luke joined me the next day.Boston-Massachusetts-Blog-Post-33

Tutorial: How I edit photos using Michelle Kane Actions

I made couple of video tutorials on how I edit photos to share with a friend but I thought it’d be nice to post here in case anyone else is interested.¬†Please keep in mind that I am by no means an expert!¬†I am completely self-taught and this is just two examples of how¬†one could apply a “clean” edit using Michelle Kane Actions and a more dramatic edit to a back-lit photo, also using MK Actions. Below are the two photos I use in the videos.2014-08-05-SophieSeniorPhotos-22-blog 2014-09-05-SophieSeniorPhotos-13-blog

A couple of things to note. This was my first time recording videos so I accidentally left a couple of things out.

First video: I meant to mention that along with adjusting exposure and lens correction in Lightroom, I also adjust the white balance, if needed. Also please pardon the blush that got on her hair in the video, these are just quick videos and not meant to be perfect.

Second video:¬†I accidentally said I was using Michelle Kane’s photo, I meant to say I am using her actions. Also, I didn’t realize that I did turn on the “Airy Haze” layer¬†when I edited this photo originally (featured above¬†and in the beginning of the video).

Hope these videos are helpful!

Michelle Kane Actions featured in the video:

I use the¬†HeARTy Action Bundle¬†(HeART &¬†Soul and Creative HeART Collections) on all of my photos. It really has everything you need to get started and can help you achieve various different looks based on your editing style. Her actions are extremely versatile and have saved me a ton of time on editingūüôā I highly recommend them!


So, a few months ago I mentioned that Luke and I were in Michigan to see a Priest known for healing and to attend my parent’s ministry, Awaken. Being prayed over was an incredible experience. Fr. Luigi put special oil on our foreheads and prayed in tongues over each of us (including my mom who was there). Afterwards, he gave us a special message which he received while in prayer. We continue to pray for healing and hope we will be blessed to start a family soon.¬†Awaken was a powerful night of music, prayer, preaching, and Eucharistic adoration. Peter Herbeck gave an awesome¬†talk and the Lord touched many hearts that night!