December 26, 2015


Greetings, Hanlin Family!

I hope y'all are having a fantastic and beautiful Christmas. And I hope y'all have more snow than we do... which is none, sadly.

As one might imagine (and relate, I'm sure) this week was probably the busiest one of the year between all the Christmas parties, pet sitting, last minute errand running, and the 4,763 trips to and from the airport in Detroit.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our Christmas with my parents on Sunday before he left for his home down south, and my brother and his fiancĂ©e came to stay for Christmas, and I brought y'all along for a lot of it, so I hope y'all feel at home. It was a really great week. 

Here's a vlog for you.

As I mentioned in my vlog, I'll be making some changes to my YouTube channel in 2016. Don't worry, I'll still be vlogging occasionally - exciting adventures and trips and the like - but after releasing a video every week for almost a year, I think it's time to focus on producing better videos rather than necessarily consistent ones. Looking back, I am thrilled with some of the video blogs I've published, and I cringe at others because they were rushed and poorly made, partly the result of weeks where nothing happened or the bits of my life I keep private taking up all of my free time - two very different ends of the spectrum. Also, writing is something I'd love to take up again in the new year - a hobby that I've foregone over most of 2015 because of focus on other things.

All of that being said, this vlog is possibly the last one you'll have from 2015. Tomorrow evening (Dec. 28), I'll be flying to Louisiana to spend New Years week with Jacob and his family, and I will most likely not be vlogging it for the "public eye."

Finally, I owe all of you a HUGE THANK YOU for watching my lame little videos and sticking around for the past year. Y'all are wonderful.

December 20, 2015


Hey y'all!

Nothing beats trudging through the beautiful Ann Arbor downtown in monsoon-like weather. Umbrellas = useless and boots = soaked. Negativity aside, that little adventure was quite fun, and I brought you along. This week was incredibly busy on my end between petsitting and Christmas shopping and a few other commitments, but I included y'all in as much as I could. Hope you enjoy!

December 15, 2015

my Christmas outfit

Salutations, Hanlin Family!

Merry Only a Few Days Until Christmas (whaaaaaat?)!

The time has rolled around again for my seemingly annual fashion post on this here blog... looking back, I haven't done one of these since November of last year. Yay for commitment, self.

Anyway, my dad kindly surprised me with a beautiful new dress for the holidays a few weeks ago, and I thought... why not show it off a bit while using it as an excuse to see my best friend and justify keeping the "fashion" tab at the top of my blog? So, Aemelia and I met up at our church last Tuesday afternoon, and she was fantastic to brave the Michigan chill to help me shoot some pictures. We have agreed that I owe her the world's largest mug of hot chocolate, on which shall be placed ALL OF THE WHIPPED CREAM.

The outfit:

The dress, a gift from my father (as aforementioned) was found at JC Penney, Black Label by Evan-Picone. / My Kelly & Katie shoes, which have served me well for many a holiday and dance and holiday dance for upwards of three years, were a Black Friday steal at DSW, so unfortunately they have been out of distribution for quite a while.

The mink stole I'm wearing was given to me by my unbelievably classy Grandma Hanlin when I was just a little girl, and since then it's been a staple in my holiday wardrobe - every Christmas and New Years and every so often an Easter. The silk lining is tattered and warn thanks to years of wear and the simple fact that it's aging.. and I've toyed with the idea of having the silk professionally replaced (I think repair is out of the question now), but I just can't bring myself to do it. I love it the way it is.

But Surrusly. How classy is this lady? Very. The answer is very.

December 13, 2015

December 7, 2015

Shrimp Tikka Masala {recipe + story time}

Hello, Hanlin Family!

A few days before Thanksgiving, Jacob and I tried a recipe I've been meaning to experiment with for a while - since I attended my friends Tim and Amalie's wedding back in June of this year. My friend and second photographer Josie and I were staying together in a hotel, and we both developed a sudden craving for Indian food after an incredibly fun day in downtown St. Louis. Because the internet knows everything we found a small restaurant called Copper Chimney in the strip mall across the street, and decided that would be our destination for dinner. That was an adventure in itself... at first we couldn't find the place (it ended up being in a way-back corner of the mall), and we ended up stopping by a pet treat bakery for directions and bought a few organic treats for ourselves on the way. Technically, everything in the store were made for animals to eat, but they smelled heavenly and they were completely organic... so why not? The cashier thought we were nuts. Not that she was wrong. But anyway. They had these wee pumpkin bites that were out of this world, the eating of which is not a decision I will ever regret.

After about a half hour of wandering aimlessly and trying to locate Copper Chimney (Siri failed us), we finally made it and got ourselves a table. I forget what Josie ordered, but I ended up with shrimp tikka masala, and it was absolutely delicious.

Anyway, short story short... Jacob and I tried our hand at making shrimp tikka masala, and in the interest of full disclosure, our meal ended up being less creamy and having a more pronounced nutmeggy/clovey kick to it than Copper Chimney's did, but it was still gosh-darned good in my opinion. And here is the recipe: