2012 in 12 Photos

In the spirit of being nostalgic on the first day of a new year, I wanted to take a step back and look at 12 photos that sum up 2012 for me. Many bloggers are already sharing their goals for the year ahead, but I’m a bit behind around these parts. As always, expect a great deal of dog photos.

JANUARY: Although I’m the first to admit that our guest bedroom is pretty hideous (stupid impulsive HomeGoods purchases), we painted the room and got a guest bed like grown-ups. Baby steps.

FEBRUARY: We fostered Donald Sutherland, who we affectionally referred to as “wart” since he was full of them. I still miss the little emo bugger.

MARCH: Wedding crafting went into high gear as Pete encouraged my need to attack Pinterest-inspired projects head on. They usually didn’t come out very well, but at least we were occupied during the cold months.

APRIL: My parents and grandma visited for Easter. My brother and sister-in-law hid in our sunroom while I distracted my parents with an egg hunt outside. My parents’ blubbery, surprised reactions when they opened the sunroom door to find my brother and his wife were pretty priceless.

MAY: I volunteered more than ever this year and enjoyed every second of it. The shot above was taken as part of the Schuylkill Banks’ annual “Art in the Open” event.

JUNE: I was lucky enough to capture a lot of beautiful weddings this year, making friends along the way. It looks like 2013 will be my busiest year yet, and I’m lucky to have my husband by my side as second shooter.

JULY: We said goodbye to our social lives this summer and said hello to endless yardwork to get ready for our backyard wedding. This included removing old fencing in preparation for a new fence install. Thank god for Twisted Tea.

AUGUST: Most of this month was spent pulling together last-minute wedding projects. Having our family over to help us make our backyard wedding a reality up until the wee hours of August 31st (the day before) meant a lot to us. Thanks to Morrissey Photo, we can relive the good times for many more years.

SEPTEMBER: After getting hitched, we went on our first overseas trip together to Italy. Hiking the six hour trek through the five towns of Cinque Terre was the highlight of our honeymoon, despite tonsillitis making the journey a bit difficult.

OCTOBER: We jumped back into fostering after returning from our honeymoon, which brought Dexter into our lives. He was rescued from a kill-shelter in Baltimore, where he would’ve been euthanized if a kind man hadn’t taken him to a local dachshund rescue. We fell hard for the little guy, who quickly became our first (and last) foster fail.

NOVEMBER: It’d be hard not to include Edgar (“the bean”) on this list. He’s our last foster dog, since we quickly discovered two dogs is our limit. He came into our home weighing 22 lbs, but is down to a much happier and healthier 16 lbs.

DECEMBER: Generocity’s office moved into Center City, where I can sneak peeks of the Dilworth Plaza construction from my desk. The hour-long commute by train has given me much-needed time to unwind and catch up on reading. Spending the past month in close proximity to my co-workers has been awesome, and I’m excited for what 2013 will bring for our team.

Thanks for reading, here’s hoping 2013 will be even more fantastic.

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Thanks to BucksHappening.com for nominating my blog!

Thanks so much to those who nominated me as a blogger for the “Happening List” on BucksHappening.com. I feel all sorts of special. If only you guys realized I’m not so happening at all (unless watching Big Bang Theory marathons with my fiance and eating way too many Winter Oreos is “happening”).

I am completely flattered and would love for my readers (ahem, my mom and Pete’s mom) to vote for me here if you want to spread the love. The top 5 winners of each category (in my case, “people”) will be announced here on Monday, March 12th. The winners will remain listed on the site for a year and given the opportunity to add info about their business. Plus, the winners will also receive an official 2012 Happening List award from Bucks Happening, which sounds mysterious enough to make me want to pimp myself shamelessly.

So, without further ado…

Thanks again to Angela and Tina at Bucks Happening for the love…you guys are fantabulous (and I’m not just saying that to get your votes!).

{Exciting Website News} Insert Flailing Here ______.

I wanted to welcome all of the new readers who were directed over here from A Cup of Jo, one of my all-time favorite blogs that I have had on my Google Reader for years (as have over 50,000 other subscribers).

I seriously adore Joanna Goddard (and she’s technically a stranger, but still) and might have squealed like a lunatic when I noticed she posted the ginger’s handsome face on her blog today. I agree with all of the kind commenters who said Pete’s proposal was totally creative, sweet, and heartwarming. I also agree that he’s a “lovely looking bloke” as one reader put it.

Speaking of his loveliness, Pete was amazing enough to spend every night this week working until midnight on my website redesign. I have been wanting to merge my previous photography blog and my illustration portfolio into one big shabang, filled with my entire range of portfolio and services. I will be phasing out the company name “Fromage Photography” into just plain old “Shannon Collins Photography.” I am hoping this avoids confusion and gives me a stronger branding message, since most people who know I take photos don’t realize I’m also a writer or illustrator and vice versa.

We’re still working on some design elements, but here’s a peek of what it looks like today. I’m thrilled with the slider of header images and the crispness of the design. It’s a tough task trying to combine photography, illustration and writing portfolios, but I think Pete did a smashing job (especially since he humbly considers himself a web developer and not at all a designer). I’m excited to find out what you guys think, so feel free to comment with ideas or feedback!

Thanks again to all of the new readers who found their way here from A Cup of Jo and thanks again to Joanna for the sweet spotlight on Pete’s proposal! Also, thanks to Pete for putting our Breaking Bad marathon aside and launching a kick arse website for yours truly. Your reward shall be in the form of choco mint chip ice cream, beer, and more Jesse Pinkman than you can handle (are there readers out there who watch the show?).

Oktoberfest Photo Op Board!

Three days later and the Oktoberfest photo-op board is complete! I’m pretty excited to see it in action this weekend with people’s faces poking through. Be on the lookout for photos of Pete and I wearing Bavarian garb in the days to come…sorry in advance to my German BFF for my dirndl attire.

We moved the plywood to our basement last night since I didn’t want it getting ruined by the rain, which meant braving the huge mustache-ish centipedes. I had to finish it up while painting sideways, since it won’t fit standing up in our house. Betty White wanted to demonstrate the size of the board by stretching out and strutting her stuff. She’s totally doing her version of the downward-facing dog on the yoga mat…don’t judge her brown feet, she can’t help but eat them.

Anyway, happy drunk pig thoughts to all of my readers! Thanks again for all of the blog love lately!

Eeep! Most Valuable Philadelphia Blogger Award!

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for my blog for Philadelphia’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards 2011! I was flattered to have been nominated, not to mention up against some of my favorite blogs (I’m looking at you, Geekadelphia). Somehow I managed to win the Editor’s Choice award for the “Everything Else” category, so I’m pretty darn honored to have been selected. Thanks to the editorial team at CBS Philly…I hope you guys liked the basket of cupcakes and $20 bills I sent over (kidding). Anyway, I’m going to wear this little blue badge with pride, thanks everyone!! And don’t worry, I won’t let this get to my head, I plan on returning to my regularly scheduled, self-deprecating posts in no time!

Guest Post at What the Frock?

I’m flattered to be guest blogging at What the Frock? today! Head on over to read my post, which highlights how to give your kitchen a fabulous makeover for under $100. My friend Dana’s blog is an amazing source of budget-friendly fashion tips, which makes this thrifty gal smile on a daily basis.

In other exciting news, there are only 3 more days to vote for me as “Most Valuable Philadelphia Blogger” at CBS Philly, so be sure to head on over there and show your support!

If I win, I promise to compile a celebratory post with a ton of cute critter photos, like the one below of our chinchilla Maude fighting off an angry t-rex.

I realize nothing says desperate like bribing your readers with photos of bunnies and the like, but I am competitive, gosh darn it!

Nominated: Most Valuable Philadelphia Blogger!

I’m pretty darn flattered to announce that youwannatalkjive has been nominated for Most Valuable Philadelphia Blogger by CBS Philly in the “Everything Else” category. According to them, I am “smart, funny and insightful” (if only they knew…), which made me blush big time. If you are a fan of my jive talk or if you like fluffy bunny rabbits, head on over to their website to vote for me! Voting for finalists is open daily now through Friday, September 9th, so be sure to get your vote on! Thanks to Pete for adding the fancy schmancy badge on the side of my website so people (ahem, mom) can vote easily!

Also, thanks to the mystery person(s) who nominated me! If Betty White or our other critters could type, I would assume it was them, but alas…