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Brunch with an old friend.

Have you figured out how much we love brunch yet? Because we do. It’s my favorite meal of the day, in fact.

We were so excited to reconnect over such an excellent meal with our lovely friend Meg. Actually, Meg is responsible for the Allie + Jay team, she helped to set up our very first date way back in 2006. Meg is graduating from the American University of Paris this year and is spending the week visiting our humble hometown, Littleton. The three of us had yet another delicious brunch at Duo and then walked around the Highlands enjoying fresh ice cream at Little Man and taking way too many pictures along the way. You can see some of Meg’s pictures from the morning here.

Z at the park.

I know I’m biased but Z is the cutest little boy ever.

Experiences and Things.

You may have heard that I love Oprah. I am a shameless Oprah show devotee and the last few months without it in my life have been a little bit difficult.

You guys are in luck today, though, because although you might have really been missing Oprah’s 4PM daily life lessons I’ve got one to recap for you. One of my very favorite take-aways from the show that comes from Dan Buettner’s appearance on the show. Buettner is an expert on happiness and the one thing he said that really resonated with me is: “The newness effect of a new thing wears off in nine months to a year. . . The luster of an experience can actually go up with time.” I quickly realized that he was absolutely right. When I buy new clothes, for example, I’m super excited to wear them the next day but how long does the joy that comes from the purchase last? Not long at all.

I suddenly realized that experiences are an incredible investment and when I say no to buying things that aren’t exactly necessities, even if they seem really awesome, I have more money to invest in experiences and that is spending that I won’t regret.

So, in the year or so since I saw this episode of Oprah I have been much more discerning about the stuff I buy and spend money much more freely on experiences:

I bought season tickets to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. I’ll admit, I initially bought the tickets so that I could buy presale Book of Mormon tickets but the tickets to all 11 shows I’ll be seeing this year are so far my favorite part of 2012. Bring it on the Musical was hilarious, and I never would have seen it without these season tickets. Plus, every play is a special night out with some of my favorite friends.

I went to see a tiny, awesome Ingrid Michaelson concert and an equally tiny, equally awesome concert wherein Rob Drabkin played Paul Simon’s Graceland Album to celebrate his own birthday. Rob’s mom even served us birthday cake.

I sat in the front of the orchestra to see Brett Dennen and Amos Lee at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

I had a super fancy dinner on New Year’s Eve (ok, I’ll admit, Jay paid for this one but if I was to decide whether or not to do it again if I was paying I absolutely would).

I also used my addiction to groupons to buy several excellent experiences, including admission to the Colorado Cheese festival and a lovely Christmas lights display where my toes got so cold that I actually almost cried from the pain of heating them up again (weak, I know).

I absolutely don’t think experiences have to cost money. On the contrary, the best experiences of my life (maybe barring travelling) have cost me nothing but my time. But if you have a little bit extra, put down the expensive jeans and treat yourself to a concert or play instead. (Also, shopping at Goodwill can be a great experience in and of itself. If you do happen to need some new jeans sometimes they have all denim on sale for 99 cents, hit it up!)

The value that I place on experiences is probably the biggest reason I love photography. When the luster of your experience is increasing over the years of fondly remembering it, there is nothing better than having beautiful pictures that help you relive it all the more. Not just because it’s our line of work, but just because I know the joy of looking through albums of pictures that have really truly captured emotion and memory, I think one of the best experiential investments that families can make is being frequently photographed. How better to remind yourself of what the people you love were like than pictures that really express their emotions, personality, and relationships? My favorite images we’ve taken are the ones that really show  the way our clients love each other. Because really, what better experience is there than that?

Snow Day

Best thing about living in Denver.

Date Morning

I love breakfast. I do not observe Valentine’s Day. Given this, and Jay’s desire to do something nice for me on a day that was not February 14 (because he’s the best , ever) Jay took me out for a nice brunch last weekend.

Before I get to the delicious food we ate at Duo, we start
ed our morning by taking some head shots. I was feeling particularly professional and wanted to update my Linked-in profile picture. . . pretty lame, I know.

And some less professional pictures. definitely not Linked In-worthy.

Now to the good part, the delicious delicious food we ate. You know what the best part of breakfast is? You can go to fancy, expensive restaurants and eat for way less than dinner, or even lunch. Duo is awesome, by the way, everything is sourced as locally as possible and things there are fresh and wonderful.  If you haven’t been you should hit it up. I’m very much looking forward to our 5280 Reservation here next week.

I had an amazing eggs benedict & Jay had pork hash. I’m getting hungry writing about it right now.

After brunch we wandered around 32nd Avenue and took a few pictures.

So handsome! I love a man in a good cardigan. 


Jay and Diesel – Denver Pet Photographer

Jay’s grandma Virginia has this handsome dog. As much as I love this dog I have to mention his special quirks. He’s terrified of the toaster, and usually has pretty bad gas. Despite (or maybe because of?) Diesel’s more unique traits, he and Jay have a special friendship. I think Diesel appreciates having someone with a lot of energy around to play with him. 

Who wouldn’t love images of them playing with their loyal four legged friend?